Oral Health Foundation backs boost in funding to support disadvantaged families during holidays
Leading health charity the Oral Health Foundation, has welcomed the increase in support for disadvantaged families during the school holidays.
As of 28th March, an investment of £2m will be used to find the best ways of helping the most disadvantaged children in the country access healthy meals and enriching activities.
Applications for a share of the government investment are open for organisations around the country that want to provide out-of-school activities during the holidays.
Speaking about the funding, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said: “The new funding from the government will provide a very welcome boost for many underprivileged families around the country. Having activities available during the holiday period which promote good nutrition, health and wellbeing can only have a positive impact for schoolchildren.
“The influence a good diet has on oral health as well as general health cannot be understated. The healthy meals provided by this support will hopefully help reduce inequalities in children’s dental health that currently exist in deprived areas around the UK – and reduce the level of excessive sugar consumption that may occur between school terms.
“We strongly recommend as many organisations as possible take advantage of the government funding available as it could have a huge benefit to the wellbeing of countless lives.”
The Holiday Activities and Food Research Fund, announced 28th March, follows the announcement that the government would initially conduct research in 2018 and run a pilot programme in the 2019 Easter and summer holidays.
The initial research would aim to support children’s education by:
• Testing the effectiveness of interventions;
• Looking at take-up of provision;
• Identifying the costs involved; and
• Considering whether there are particular areas where this kind of programme would be most effective.
Education Minister, Nadhim Zahawi MP (top) said: “I encourage charities and expert organisations across the country to apply to take part in this exciting programme to help us better understand children’s current access to healthy meals and enriching activity during the school holidays.
“We want every child to reach their potential and healthy meals and activities can contribute to their development and improved attainment.”
The bid round to apply for funding opened from 28 March 2018 and closes on 18 April 2018. There will be a separate bidding process for participation in the 2019 Easter and Summer programmes.