Make Lunch Royston continues vital service to help families in half term
PUBLISHED: 17:45 27 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:51 27 October 2020
Make Lunch Royston has been providing food and activities for children, who receive free school meals, during holidays since 2015 – and in the coronavirus pandemic, the service has continued to prove vital to families in need.
The project was founded six years ago by Pastor Cate Hall of Trinity Life Church for children in Royston and villages within a three-mile radius – and it’s run by Cate and project administrator Louise Bradley, supported by volunteers.
During the October half term, volunteers are delivering food packages to registered families.
Louise, who has worked for the project since October last year and is a mum of four children aged between 13 and four, told the Crow: “We have been blown away by the community’s generosity this week. It’s been incredible.
“For the majority of this year we were serving 15 families, but in the last four days I have had eight more families register. I expect that number to continue to rise towards Christmas.
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“We provide a really important service. It is difficult for people to come forward and say ‘I need help’.
“I know, because I took my family to Make Lunch in 2014 when we first came to Royston.
“It was a very difficult time for us. Our personal circumstances changed enormously. I went from having a very good job that I worked very hard over the years for to having to give up work to support my family. We went from being fairly comfortable to completely broke – I took my kids to Make Lunch and it was wonderful. It’s not just the food, it’s having something to do and it’s free.”
Louise said businesses have been coming forward with offers support since MPs voted last week not to continue free school meals provision in the school holidays. They also have long term support from Johnson Matthey, Royston and District Churches Together and the Brian Leslie Racher Trust – and have received support from North Herts District Council.
Louise said: “This pandemic has caused so much tragedy and people have lost jobs, but the Royston community has pulled together. If a family needs our support, they have to complete a short registration form confirming free school meals eligibility. If there are families experiencing hardship who are not eligible for free school meals, we would not turn them away.”
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