Welwyn Hatfield fire stations hold sessions to help disadvantaged children

PUBLISHED: 11:42 16 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:42 16 April 2018

The Fit, Fed and Read sessions took place in WGC and Hatfield over the Easter break. Picture: Hertfordshire County Council.

The Fit, Fed and Read sessions took place in WGC and Hatfield over the Easter break. Picture: Hertfordshire County Council.

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Youngsters were treated to a “rip-roaring” activities fortnight at Welwyn Hatfield fire stations as part of a scheme designed to help disadvantaged children.

The Fit, Fed and Read sessions took place in WGC and Hatfield over the Easter break. Picture: Hertfordshire County Council. The Fit, Fed and Read sessions took place in WGC and Hatfield over the Easter break. Picture: Hertfordshire County Council.

The Herts Sports and Physical Activity Partnership has been piloting its Fit, Fed and Read scheme at WGC and Hatfield fire stations over the two-week Easter holiday.

More than 50 children flocked to the initiatives and enjoyed programmes focusing on healthy eating, physical activity and improved literacy.

They were all treated to a nutritious hot meal, provided by Hertfordshire Catering Ltd (HCL), which also delivered sessions in which they could concoct fruit-flavoured drinks on smoothie bikes.

Fit and Fed is a national StreetGames initiative which seeks to counter the inequalities of holiday hunger, physical inactivity and social isolation that impact some of the country’s most disadvantaged children aged eight to 11 during the holidays.

The Fit, Fed and Read sessions took place in WGC and Hatfield over the Easter break. Picture: Hertfordshire County Council. The Fit, Fed and Read sessions took place in WGC and Hatfield over the Easter break. Picture: Hertfordshire County Council.

A spokesman for the Herts initiative said that although the national scheme is specifically aimed at disadvantaged children, Hertfordshire’s event was a pilot open to all children.

However, following its success, future schemes will also be specifically targeted at children who need help most.

A spokesman hailed the scheme a “rip-roaring success” and said that feedback from parents, participants and carers has been “extremely positive”.

Fit, Fed and Read is the brainchild of HSP deputy director Jane Shewring and Herts Fire and Rescue Service area commander Steve Holton.

The Fit, Fed and Read sessions took place in WGC and Hatfield over the Easter break. Picture: Hertfordshire County Council. The Fit, Fed and Read sessions took place in WGC and Hatfield over the Easter break. Picture: Hertfordshire County Council.

Ms Shewring said: “The recent pilots at both Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield Fire Station have been a huge success and an example of inter-agency partnership working at its very best.

“We are indebted to Steve Holton and his colleagues for the way that they have enthusiastically embraced this programme and their contribution has been nothing short of outstanding.”

The programmes were boosted by being held at the fire stations, as they provided safe indoor and outdoor spaces as well as respected role models.

Some of the firefighters got involved by reading to youngsters and organising sports and physical activity sessions.

The Fit, Fed and Read sessions took place in WGC and Hatfield over the Easter break. Picture: Hertfordshire County Council. The Fit, Fed and Read sessions took place in WGC and Hatfield over the Easter break. Picture: Hertfordshire County Council.

Following its success, plans are now afoot to officially roll out the programme in Hertfordshire this summer.

The Fit, Fed and Read sessions took place in WGC and Hatfield over the Easter break. Picture: Hertfordshire County Council. The Fit, Fed and Read sessions took place in WGC and Hatfield over the Easter break. Picture: Hertfordshire County Council.

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