The school summer holiday period is really challenging. In the UK, 3 million children are at risk of going hungry. Many of the families supported by SHS do not have any spare money to entertain children over the summer, and the loss of a free school meal is a significant problem. Days out are simply far beyond the means of families we support – and the costs associated with ‘back to school’ are crippling. This summer, for the first time ever, as part of a campaign to help some of the poorest families we support, 33 families were given a boost by receiving ‘SHS Summer Support Packs’.
The feedback we’ve had from our staff and children and parents has been really moving. To every volunteer that got involved, thank you for all your support. As you’ll see from the quotes, your generosity has made a massive difference and will mean families can have a positive summer holiday. Providing practical support (even in the smallest way) is a huge boost to parents who are struggling to bring up children. We know from speaking to parents that understanding someone cares and has helped is a real boost to their self-esteem and resilience. Here’s what parents and children said when they got their SHS Summer Support Packs.
|“Thank you for the gift bag with goodies that will entertain my daughter in the six weeks holiday. This has come at a perfect time, as my family and I are facing eviction and don’t know where we will be living in the forthcoming weeks. At least this will put a smile on her face and I truly appreciate all that you do for families like myself at Rachel Keeling.”|
|“Thank you for your kindness, I am caring for my grandchildren full time and this will be their first 6 weeks holiday since their mum died. The school has been so supportive and signposted me to various free activities that I could take the girls, however, due to my health I won’t be able to get out as much as the children would want. With these two goodie bags, the girls can now have fun at home when I can’t get out.”|
|“Just to say thank you so much for organising the donation of summer activities for some of our vulnerable families. The boxes arrived on Friday and I know they will help some people to plan activities and during the long summer holidays. These initiatives really do hope our families to have limited income and may be unable to get out to the shops easily.”|
– Becky Dolamore, Head Teacher, Rachel Keeling Nursery School
|“The gifts were perfect for the children, and they love it. The cinema tickets are greatly appreciated, as we can never afford to go together as a family, so this really helps. Thank you so much Liberum. You really don’t know what a difference you have made to our summer.”|
|“I just wanted to say a big thank you to Liberum. The packages you sent were amazing and exceeded our expectations The gifts were so thoughtful. The extra touch of adding an Oyster card was so well thought out, and parents were really surprised by this. The summer holidays can be very tough for some of our families and this has been a godsend. The families have been truly overwhelmed, but above all very grateful.”|
– Marjorie Damah, SHS Practitioner, Brunswick Park Primary School
|“Thank you so much, this is so great to get this support. I do not know how we would have afforded these things for the kids and I was worried about the summer.”|
|“Many families are facing huge financial pressures, making parenting extremely challenging in an expensive city like London. Schools can be a lifeline and the summer holidays are a challenging time for many of our families. It is wonderful to provide a bit of extra help to those families who are struggling the most. Thank you so much.”|
– Ayesha Taylor, SHS Practitioner, St Marks C of E Primary School
“I am so grateful for the very generous donations provided by your company to support the vulnerable families of St Mark’s. The six week holiday is a long time for children to be away from school and for some, it means six weeks of being inside and unstimulated.
The toys and gifts will provide much enjoyment and help the time to pass by more quickly. The uniform will enable children to return to school with confidence and not feel inferior to their peers. Many thanks once again, you may just have made each child’s summer!”
|“The School is immensely grateful and overwhelmed by the generosity that has been shown to our families-especially our most vulnerable families. We wish the London Stock Exchange Group a very happy and enjoyable Summer!”|
– Deputy Head Teacher, English Martyrs RC Primary School
“Words cannot express how delighted I am about the fantastic summer packs that our families have received. The packs have exceeded my expectation! I have worked closely with these families and I have realised that beyond all their challenges, their greatest desire is to make sure that their children are happy. Often limited finances have been the barrier to keeping their children happy and entertained over the long summer break.
It was an amazing experience to see the faces of the parents and children as they opened the packs and discovered the games/toys, vouchers and oyster cards that were gifted to them. These summer packs have certainly restored joy and hope to the lives of these families. Despite their ongoing challenges, they now have the resources to assist them to ‘live above’ these challenges (even for a short while) and have an enjoyable time as a family throughout the summer holiday.
A huge thank you to London Stock Exchange and School-Home Support for making a tremendous difference in the lives of these families. On behalf of the families – THANKS A MILLION!”
– Hopieann Platt, SHS Practitioner, English Martyrs RC Primary School
|“Thank you – this has been great! The families are delighted – especially with the supermarket vouchers because they usually struggle throughout the summer holidays. They were overwhelmed and some had tears in their eyes when I gave them the packs.”|
– Kathleen Costello, SHS Practitioner, Hollydale Primary School
|“The gifts and supermarket vouchers have made such a difference to the families at Hollydale who will struggle over the holidays. Kathleen works with a lot of the parents of the SEN children that I work with. Having children with SEN and living in poverty in overcrowded accommodation can add to the stress of the long summer holidays. The games, books, and gift cards and zoo trips will certainly help ease things for these families over the summer break, and our school really appreciates the donations.”|
– Ms Sharkey-Yun, Inclusion Manager, Hollydale Primary School
|“There’s a game which my brother has been asking Mummy for Christmas! The Diaries of a Wimpey Kid book is my favourite. David Walliams makes me laugh – if you looked at my bookshelf the name that you would see the most Is David Walliams. This will keep me busy over the summer and mummy will be happy.”|
|“I’s favourite was the snakes and ladders board game that he can play with his mummy. The student said: “Wow! Thank you so much!” Alan and his mum thought he would have to give the books back after the summer because they were so expensive. Alan asked if he could keep them forever. He bought the Ocean book to our drawing and talking session to show me.”|
– Karen Watch, SHS Practitioner
|“Having Tesco vouchers can make a huge difference as families need extra support over the summer. Being out of school for 6weeks can put a financial strain on families as free school meals are not available. Holiday hunger is a huge worry for a lot of families and any additional help towards a financial crisis is always beneficial. Thank you, SHS! keep up the good work!”|
– Ocean Bell-Grey, Counsellor/Mentor, Arco Academy
|“Wow, is this for us? Thank you so much, I was struggling to afford things like my children’s school trips, this is really helping us. I only had £10 to spare.”|
– Mother of 6, (4 living in the home with 2 grandchildren)