Lunch and fun clubs are vi­tal for young­sters

Cynon Valley - - YOUR NEWS - with AM Vikki How­ells

SCHOOL hol­i­days can be a wor­ry­ing time for fam­i­lies where chil­dren re­ceive free school meals dur­ing term time.

Quite sim­ply, many house­hold bud­gets can­not cope with the ex­tra pres­sure, and it is no coin­ci­dence that char­i­ties like the Trus­sell Trust, which sup­ports the Cynon Val­ley food­bank, notes de­mand for food parcels in­crease dur­ing the sum­mer months.

I’ve raised the spec­tre of “hol­i­day hunger” in the Welsh As­sem­bly, and wel­comed the Welsh Gov­ern­ment’s in­vest­ment of £500,000 in lunch and fun clubs to sup­port chil­dren and par­ents dur­ing hol­i­days.

As well as pro­vid­ing break­fast and a mid­day meal, the clubs of­fer sports, art ac­tiv­i­ties and ed­u­ca­tion on healthy eat­ing. It was a priv­i­lege to visit the club in Peny­waun Pri­mary School dur­ing August to see how lo­cal chil­dren were ben­e­fit­ing.

I will be ask­ing the Welsh Gov­ern­ment how they can ex­pand this ini­tia­tive dur­ing the next sum­mer, to en­sure Cynon Val­ley chil­dren do not go hun­gry dur­ing the hol­i­days.

The sum­mer also marks the time when young peo­ple re­ceive the re­sults of their ex­ams.

As a for­mer teacher, I know all too well the hard work that learn­ers put in, with sup­port from par­ents, teach­ers and the school com­mu­nity and con­grat­u­late every­one get­ting their re­sults.

Hope­fully, this will have meant our young peo­ple get­ting the grades they need, but, if not, there are al­ways sources of ad­vice out there to help you make the right de­ci­sions for your fu­ture, such as Ca­reers Wales in Aber­dare town cen­tre.

Thanks to all those who have filled out my sur­vey on Sun­day train ser­vices. If you haven’t but would like to, go to www.sur­vey­mon­key. com/r/Q7MPB35. I am also launch­ing a sur­vey on Sun­day bus ser­vices, and would be grate­ful if you could have a say at www.sur­vey­mon­key. com/r/QGB7YNG. For a pa­per copy, ring my of­fice on 01685 881388 and I will post one out.

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