FC Youth Foundation is launching Big Boro Big Eats, a food aid and education programme for young people that will run for seven consecutive weeks from the 24th July to 8th September
The initiative comes against a backdrop of high rates of youth deprivation in Middlesbrough
Almost a third (32%) of children live in Income Deprived Households - the highest rate in England
The number of children needing access to free school meals has increased to almost 40% - considerably higher than the regional and national average
The KFC Youth Foundation Middlesbrough activity comes ahead of wider plans to support young people through programmes and hubs across the UK
Middlesbrough, 25th July 2023: This summer, the KFC Youth Foundation is launching Big Boro Big Eats: two programmes that will provide food education for young people and food aid for local communities over the summer holidays, in partnership with local Middlesbrough organisations Linx Youth Project and Youth Focus: North East.
Both programmes will deliver youth work through helping young people aged between 10 – 18 learn key skills and develop an understanding of where their food comes from. Looking at the ‘farm to fork’ journey; how to budget; what constitutes a nutritious meal, as well as food preparation and cooking techniques. Alongside teaching skills, activities will involve preparing and providing delicious and nutritious meals for participants, their families and members of the local community. Recipes will cover a range of tasty classics including Fajitas, Chilli Con Carne, Sausage Casserole, Tuna and Sweetcorn Pasta, and Corned Beef Stew.
The programmes will complement existing work already being done by KFC Youth Foundation’s partner organisations Linx Youth Project and Youth Focus: North East to address the barriers and disadvantages faced by young people in Middlesbrough. Almost a third (32%) of children live in Income Deprived Households - the highest rate in England - and the number of children needing access to free school meals has increased to almost 40%, which is considerably higher than both the regional (30.4%) and national average (23.8%). These stats come at a backdrop to the 4.2m children that are currently living in poverty in the UK, and over 3m children and young people that are at risk of holiday hunger.
The Big Boro Big Eats programme will run for seven consecutive weeks from the 24th July to 8th September in the Middlesbrough area. In collaboration with the KFC Youth Foundation, charity partner Linx will be running sessions across its five sites between 12:00 and 17:30 Monday to Friday throughout the summer, and Youth Focus: North East will be facilitating pop-up sessions for the community in key areas.
‘Big Boro Big Eats’ will lay the foundations for the opening of a permanent KFC Youth Foundation centre in Middlesbrough in 2024, with the Foundation set to open Youth Hubs across the country in areas that need them most. These plans mark a significant milestone for the KFC Youth Foundation as it moves from a funding model to taking tangible action through delivering youth work in the places where communities and young people need support the most.
The KFC Youth Foundation's mission is rooted in the belief that every young person deserves the chance to realise their full potential, regardless of their background or circumstances. By establishing the first KFC Youth Foundation Hub in Middlesbrough, the Foundation seeks to aid current local organisations in their work to address the unique challenges faced by young people and create a safe and inclusive space where they can unlock talent and build life skills.
Louise Norris, Manager of the KFC Youth Foundation, said: "We can’t wait to launch our programme in Middlesbrough as part of the KFC Youth Foundation's ongoing commitment to empowering young people. Through this initiative, we aim to deliver further youth work opportunities to the local area by partnering with some inspiring organisations to provide a nurturing and inclusive space where young people can unlock their potential, overcome challenges, and build a brighter future. We believe that investing in the next generation is not only a responsibility but also an opportunity to make a lasting positive impact on their lives and our communities."
Wayne Mason, Chief Executive at Linx Middlesbrough said: "We are proud to partner with the KFC Youth Foundation in creating the Big Boro Big Eats in Middlesbrough. This initiative is testament to the commitment of both organisations to make a tangible difference in the lives of young people in our community. Together, we believe that by providing comprehensive support, guidance, and opportunities, we can empower young people to overcome obstacles and unlock their true potential. This collaborative effort embodies our shared vision of creating a brighter future for the youth of Middlesbrough."
Heather Insull, Regional Youth Development Manager at Youth Focus North East said: “There are some fantastic people and personalities in Middlesbrough and they – like all young people – deserve a good start in life. The sessions we are running over the summer will give them a safe space, food to eat and valuable life skills are we are looking forward to getting stuck in with the KFC Youth Foundation.”
Cllr Philippa Storey, Deputy Mayor and Executive member for Education, said: “We’re extremely grateful for the support the KFC Youth Foundation is providing to two brilliant organisations in the Linx Youth Project and Youth Focus: North East.
“The summer holidays present lots of challenges for families in Middlesbrough but these sessions will help to make sure they can be a happy time for more of our young people.”
KFC Youth Foundation is encouraging members of the local community to come down and try some of the delicious meals being prepared by the young people over the next seven weeks.
About Linx Youth Project
Linx Youth Project runs open access youth clubs Monday – Friday across different wards in Middlesbrough for young people aged 10-19 (and up to 25 with Special Educational Needs). Our youth clubs provide a place for young people to socialise, meet with their friends and make new friends. Our staff are committed to providing quality youth work and facilitating young people’s learning and social participation through a range of activities including emotional and physical health development, healthy eating and lifestyles, cultural awareness and the opportunity to explore choices about their daily lives and futures.
About Youth Focus: North East
Youth Focus North East is an independent charity, established in 1989, with the overall vision to improve the lives of young people through high quality youth work. Youth Focus North East is uniquely placed in the region to connect, develop and influence the policy and delivery of services for young people and acts as a unified voice for the Region. With support from our funders, we develop programmes that seek to tackle some of the big issues in young people’s lives, covering a range of themes, including; employability, social action, improved mental health, youth isolation and loneliness, wellbeing.