Calderdale TV stars and comedians pledge support to anti-child hunger campaign

Calderdale’s Never Hungry Again campaign has reached two major milestones this week boosting the mission to end child hunger in the borough.

By Sam McKeown
Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 5:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 5:52 pm

Married TV stars and comedians, Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont, who live in Hebden Bridge, have pledged their support for Calderdale’s anti-poverty work and are championing the campaign, not just to tackle child food poverty in the short term, but for the long term too.

This comes as the new £100,000 #NeverHungryAgain fund gets set to open for applications on December 10, after its official launch at Calderdale’s Food Poverty Forum that day.

Comedian Mr Richardson said: "The CCFC has been helping people in Calderdale for 40 years through various difficulties and this year has been more difficult than most; many families were only just recovering from flooding when the pandemic hit.

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Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont (web)

"It's vital that we start tackling child poverty both in the short term by distributing the funds that are ready and waiting for vulnerable families but also in the long term by understanding the root causes of poverty and tackling head on the misconceptions about how it arises and the denial of how bad the problem is.

“Most of the parents who are struggling to make ends meet at the moment are working hard and being let down, if they have the courage to ask for help, they should be met with

compassion as well as the practical things they need to get through what has been an incredibly challenging year.

"We are all much closer than we think to something out of our control removing our ability to provide for our families and so Lucy and I are delighted to lend our support to the Never Hungry Again campaign because in a country as wealthy as our no child should be unable to sleep or learn properly because of a lack of food."

Calderdale community organisations can apply for grants of up to £5,000 from the fund, to support vulnerable children and families who have been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In addition to the #NeverHungryAgain fund, the Council is providing direct support to vulnerable families who have been most impacted by the pandemic, who have access to free school meals during term time.

Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said: “We launched the joint Never Hungry Again campaign to build hope, raise people’s aspirations and help everyone achieve their potential.

"No child or young person should go hungry in Calderdale.

"Together, we know we can end food poverty for good and give children the best start in life.

“We are incredibly proud of the community’s response to the campaign so far, and grateful for all the wonderful support. Having Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont on board and launching our £100,000 fund are a further welcome boost for the mission to tackle child hunger in Calderdale.”

Steve Duncan, CEO of the Community Foundation for Calderdale, said: “We feel passionately about fighting child hunger in our community and to have the backing of comics Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont is a big boost to raise awareness and reduce stigma as many people would never have foreseen that they would be in this situation and it’s great that we can look after each other as a community.”

The fund was created as part of the long-term Never Hungry Again campaign launched by Calderdale Council, the Community Foundation for Calderdale, The Piece Hall Trust and other partner organisations across the borough in October 2020.

The aim is to eradicate local food poverty, not only during school holidays, but forever – adding to the longstanding partnership work to tackle poverty, reduce inequalities and build hope through the Vision2024 for Calderdale.

Since the campaign began, local people and organisations have shown overwhelming kindness by donating to the fund and providing other support including offers of food to those most in need.

The Council has received around £734,000 from the Government’s COVID Winter Grant Scheme and will be making one payment to each eligible family during December to help with food, energy and water bills from now until after the February 2021 half-term. Further funding through the Department for Education’s Holiday

Activity and Food programme will support local families from Easter to Christmas

2021.

Previous grants from Calderdale Council and the Community Foundation for Calderdale earlier this year have also been helping families in need across the borough, by supporting the work of local voluntary groups.

For example, Calder Community Cares was set up in response to the pandemic, with 180 volunteers supporting over 300 local people with shopping, medication deliveries and friendly phone calls. The organisation is using its grant to deliver healthy food bags, recipe ideas and advice to 70 vulnerable families during winter, working with schools and local stores. Calder Community Cares hopes to help more families for longer through its ongoing fundraising. Visit: www.caldercares.org.ukCommunity groups, charities, schools and sports clubs can now apply for a share of the £100,000 fund up until Thursday 7 January 2021 by visiting: www.ukcf.secure.force.com/formsThe money will be used to provide additional support to families who are struggling over winter due to the pandemic, including during the Christmas school holidays and February 2021 half-term.

Donations to the fund are still very welcome, to provide even more help to local children, young people and families in need. To donate, please visit www.localgiving.org/charity If you would like to donate over £1000, please contact the Community Foundation for Calderdale directly at [email protected] or on 01422 349700.