Summer Sufra Style: A Look Back at Our 2021 Summer Activities

As always everyone in the Sufra family has been working hard to support our community this summer. We know that school holidays can be particularly stressful for some families due to the increased cost of food, childcare and utilities as well as reduced incomes. For some children that can lead to a huge gap in their holiday experience. Children from disadvantages families are more likely to experience social isolation and unhealthy lifestyles by missing out on organised social and physical activities. 

Our Food Bank, Advice Services and Edible Garden have been running non-stop to provide families and children with the emergency aid, uniforms, equipment, advice and activities needed to get struggling families through this period. Find out more below! 

Edible Garden Summer Programme 

Overcoming obstacles of bouts of mandatory isolation and a few monsoon rain-spells – our Summer Activity Programme has been a roaring success.   

Thanks to Brent Council's Holiday Activities Fund 30 young people, aged between 5 – 13 have had 4 weeks solid of fire-making, bug hunting, chicken caring, marshmallow toasting and more! This programme has given young people the opportunity to get green-fingered in the middle of a concrete jungle – many of them handling chickens and getting their fingers in the soil for the first time in their lives. As well as by our very own Learning and Outreach Coordinator, Jim, the children also experienced sessions run by forest school practitioners and nature photographers. 

A freshly prepared hot meal from Chef Prince was also provided for lunchtime too. We heard feedback such as ‘my noodles look like the worms we saw’ – you don’t get much more cross curricular than that. 

Summer camp hot lunches – across Brent 

You know that at Sufra we love a little bit of partnership working, and we have been doing just that to support lots of other summer activity programmes running across the borough. Chef Prince and his trusty kitchen volunteers have performed all sorts of small miracles to get a varied and tasty menu out to over 500 young people, all eligible for free school meals, at a whole range of summer camps. 

We have been providing nutritious lunches to: Sufra St Raphael’s Summer Club, a local Scouts group, Young Brent Foundation, Oxford Active, OK Club, Fresh Start, Newman Catholic College & Sufra Food Academy & St Raphs Family Wellbeing Centre.

Working alongside these summer clubs, we have made sure that hundreds young people who would usually receive Free School Meal provision during term-time, are spending their summers eating nutritious and delicious meals too! 

Uniform Distribution – Summer Support for Families  

Uniform is extortionate no matter your budget, so it goes without saying that if you are struggling to afford food, then buying uniform for the new school year is nigh on impossible. You may have seen our call-outs on social media for uniform throughout July. We were completely overwhelmed with the response from the local community. So many generous individuals handed in their ‘pre-loved’ uniforms and we received such an incredible range of items -  spanning both primary and secondary and including many logo’d items for a really wide range of schools across the Borough of Brent.  

We also collaborated for the third year running with our friends at Hand on Heart, who provided us with HUNDREDS of backpacks, fully equipped with stationary, lunchboxes and water bottles, ensuring our kids were fully prepared for the new academic year. 

Our friends at Lady Fatima Trust have also stepped up to support families as they go back to school! Refurbishing laptops and getting them to our families that our in need.

A big shout out must go to Gladstone Park Primary School, who let us use their space to sort and organise all of our donations, and also run our distribution from there. 

The Summer by Numbers #MoreThanaFoodBank

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