Vital kids charity gets funding boost but longer term future uncertain

This article first appeared in the North Ayrshire Foodbanks Newsletter on April 11, 2016.

Original copy

By Iain Graydon

A project which provides vital support to vulnerable children by giving them a healthy meal during school holidays has had a welcome boost to its funding.

Make a meal of It is North Ayrshire Foodbanks’ children’s programme and ensures that the kids have a two-hour session of activities, companionship and new opportunities, and also receive a nutritious three course meal during school holiday periods.

The project has been awarded funding of £4,000 from the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland to help with the running costs.

The project’s coordinator, Craig Crosthwaite, said: “This award, along with a recent donation of £3,000 from Greenwood Academy’s Youth Philanthropy Initiative prize gives us sufficient funding to cover the cost of the sessional staff who operate the project over the summer holidays.”

“But we still need to raise money to cover the food costs. Last year North Ayrshire Council provided funding for three meals per week, and our patrons, Community Windpower, covered the cost of the other two days.

“We don’t yet know if this will be available to us again this year and so we may need to raise the £7,350 we need through other means.”

Craig has applied for funding from the BBC Children in Need charity but will not find out if his bid has been successful until the end of May.

Craig said: “Ideally I would like to have all the funding in place before the end of June and in time for the summer break.

“Free school meals are vitally important to families on low income. It can be a real struggle for many parents to provide their children with a healthy meal every day during the school holidays. Being unable to fund the club this year would be a very serious blow to them.”

Another potential source of funding might come from Craig’s forthcoming Guinness World Record attempt. Craig hopes to set a new world record for the most holes in a game of mini-golf over 24-hours.

“We have the eight golfers we need but we’re still looking for 12 independent volunteers to act as witnesses on the day.

“If we can get enough sponsorship support from the community for the record attempt we could possibly raise all the money we need to run Make a Meal of It for the rest of the year,” said Craig.

The event will be held at the end of May or beginning of June. Paradise Golf in Braehead will be providing the venue and Craig invites anyone who is willing to lend a hand to contact him at [email protected]