This summer more north east children will have fun and enjoy good food as part of a ground-breaking project thanks to a grant from Big Lottery Fund.

In recent years more and more families rely on holiday schemes for at least one good meal a day during the school holidays. The North East Child Poverty Commission want more children in our region to benefit from these schemes, so the ‘A Day Out, Not a Hand Out’ project will fund holiday schemes in Newcastle, Darlington, parts of Durham and North Tyneside, each managed by local organisations – Meadow Well Connected; Livin’; Groundwork North East and Newcastle City Council Public Health team.

Northumbria University Faculty of Health and Life Sciences will research all the schemes to find out what makes a really good holiday scheme – children enjoying themselves, interesting things to do, and tasty, nutritious food.

The whole project is being coordinated by us in partnership with the North East Child Poverty Trust which will disseminate the research findings at the end of the project.

Professor Greta Defeyter, Director of Public Health at Northumbria University said:

There is very little research into the benefits of holiday schemes, this is the first large scale project in this country to try to understand the impact of holiday schemes for children’s health, especially a balanced diet, well-being and preparation for going back to school in September.

Jane Streather, Chair of the North East Child Poverty Commission said:

We are delighted that Big Lottery Fund is supporting this project. We hope it will identify the essential components needed to run excellent holiday schemes and establish a blueprint for other organisations to follow in the future.