Make Lunch Royston: Drop-ins back at vital summer holidays support scheme

Make Lunch Royston provides hot meals to children in need of support over the school holidays

Make Lunch Royston provides hot meals to children in need of support over the school holidays. - Credit: Make Lunch Royston

A scheme which supports families in need in Royston and the surrounding villages during the school holidays is back offering hot meals and fun for youngsters in-person, after drop-ins were suspended in 2020.

In March last year, Make Lunch Royston had to close its drop-in centres due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Make Lunch team decided to continue supporting families during this difficult time by delivering ‘Boxes of Hope’ to their families.

Each delivery contained all the ingredients needed to cook two hot and healthy meals for each household. In total, more than 2,000 meals were served during the coronavirus pandemic to families in Royston and surrounding villages. 

Louise Bradley, Make Lunch Royston co-ordinator, said: ”Overseeing the Boxes of Hope project for Make Lunch Royston was an exciting challenge and a huge privilege.

"During the campaign we have served 2,163 meals to local families who would normally receive a free of charge school meal.

"We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from our local community for this project which would not have been possible without the generous support of our volunteers and donators."

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Now that government restrictions are eased, doors opened to families for drop-ins at a new site - which even had a hand-washing station donated to them by long-time supporter Johnson Matthey.

Louise continued: "We are now so excited to be welcoming our families back to our in-person sessions at our new location, St Mary’s Hall in Royston.

"So far this summer, we have served 95 meals to our families and enjoyed family cooking sessions with Herts Healthy Hub. We are also looking forward to visits from Cambridge Science Centre.

"It has been such a pleasure to see our families again in person. Appropriate measures are in place to ensure our sessions are safe but fun!"

Jayne Foster from JM - Royston's biggest employer - said: "Johnson Matthey has been supporting the Make Lunch campaign for four years.

"It’s a brilliant cause because, by helping to share that all children can have a hot cooked lunch every day, JM has helped ensure over 100 unique families have had a hot lunch in the last four years.

"We are very happy to also donate a hand-washing station, so it will be easier to ensure the lunch can be COVID-secure."