Might I please take this opportunity to wish Birkenhead residents a Happy Christmas, and to make a seasonal wish for our town’s children?
One of the most urgent problems to have presented itself over the past year is that of children arriving at school hungry each day.
I was appalled to learn earlier in the year that, in some of our schools, as many as one in four children begin lessons on an empty stomach.
Some teachers have responded to this urgent need by paying from their own pocket for snacks to give their hungry pupils.
It is to their huge credit that they have so acted.
Regardless of where the blame may lie, it is now crucial that each of us raises our game so that children are able to make the most of their schooling.
They cannot do so if they are hungry.
The Feeding Birkenhead campaign has therefore secured free of charge, from a charity called His Church, thousands of boxes of cereal to help eight schools in Birkenhead set up and maintain free breakfast clubs for their pupils.
Head teachers have reported back on the huge difference this supply of food – all of which would have been dumped, had it not been rescued – has made to their pupils being able to settle down and learn each day.
Likewise as a result of Feeding Birkenhead’s programme of school holiday meals and fun, 250 children who might otherwise have gone hungry were ready to learn when they returned to school after the October half term.
As a next move, Feeding Birkenhead would like to supply each school with stocks of porridge, jam, tea bags, fruit drinks and fruit snacks, so they can offer children the healthiest possible start to each school day.
The cost of each box, which we would again buy from His Church, is £20; a fraction of what it would cost from elsewhere.
Should you wish to donate to this cause, might you please contact Andrew Forsey in my office on email@example.com or 0800 028 0293?