Supporting local children to end holiday hunger

At the launch of Portadown Gets Active were Pauline Leeson, chief executive of Children in Northern Ireland (second left) and Kevin Reid (second right) from Almac, which is supporting the summer programme with participants Gabbie and Sammie (centre) and leaders Rhiannon and Martin.
At the launch of Portadown Gets Active were Pauline Leeson, chief executive of Children in Northern Ireland (second left) and Kevin Reid (second right) from Almac, which is supporting the summer programme with participants Gabbie and Sammie (centre) and leaders Rhiannon and Martin.

Children in Northern Ireland has just launched its latest “Gets Active” scheme to support local children in Portadown.

The programme is being delivered in partnership with the community and voluntary sector, statutory agencies, local schools, local government and business.

The “Portadown Gets Active” summer programme is about fun, learning and food. It encourages young people to stay active during the summer months, attain a qualification and enjoy a healthy snack and lunch.

The programme is being held in St John the Baptist College to make the most of the school estate which would otherwise lie empty during the summer holidays.

The project was created in response to evidence that many families face severe difficulties during holiday periods when free school meal entitlement ends. Our project not only provides a healthy snack and lunch, but also gives children the opportunity to take part in a range of activities and gain an OCN qualification.

Over 70 children are taking part in the programme.

With a further 20 older children having already taken part in an OCN in Youth Work.

Alan Armstrong, Chairman & CEO Almac Group said: “We are aware that many local families face challenges in providing healthy meals for their children over the summer holidays. At Almac, we are proud to support such a positive and fun programme which focuses on educating young people about staying active and eating healthily, as well as gaining a qualification. This scheme is of great value to our young people and wider society both now and for the future, equipping them with the skills they need to become healthy adults and we are delighted to be associated with it.”