“Portadown Gets Active” A summer scheme to support local children and end holiday hunger

July 6, 2018

Children in Northern Ireland has just launched its latest “Gets Active” scheme to support local children in Portadown. The programme is being delivered in partnership with the community and voluntary sector, statutory agencies, local schools, local government and business.

The “Portadown Gets Active” summer programme is about fun, learning and food. It encourages young people to stay active during the summer months, attain a qualification and enjoy a healthy snack and lunch.

The programme is being held in St John the Baptist College to make the most of the school estate which would otherwise lie empty during the summer holidays.

The project was created in response to evidence that many families face severe difficulties during holiday periods when free school meal entitlement ends. Our project not only provides a healthy snack and lunch, but also gives children the opportunity to take part in a range of activities and gain an OCN qualification. Over 70 children are taking part in the programme. With a further 20 older children having already taken part in an OCN in Youth Work.

Pauline Leeson, Chief Executive of Children in Northern Ireland said:
“The premise behind free school meals is that children from low income families have access to a hot nutritional lunch during school. At times they also receive breakfast too. But what happens to those children during the long summer holidays and other holiday periods? For some families, the school holidays can be a struggle. It’s not just the increase in food cost but the pressures associated with keeping children active.”

The project in Portadown is a partnership between Oasis Youth Portadown, Children in Northern Ireland, the Children & Young People’s Strategic Partnership, Family Support Hubs, ABC Council with additional support from the Public Health Agency, food supplier Brakes UK and the Almac Group.

Alan Armstrong, Chairman & CEO Almac Group said: “We are aware that many local families face challenges in providing healthy meals for their children over the summer holidays. At Almac, we are proud to support such a positive and fun programme which focuses on educating young people about staying active and eating healthily, as well as gaining a qualification. This scheme is of great value to our young people and wider society both now and for the future, equipping them with the skills they need to become healthy adults and we are delighted to be associated with it.


Notes for editors

CiNI represents the interests of its 160-member organisations providing policy, information, training, and participation support services to members in their direct work with and for children and young people. CiNI membership also includes colleagues in the children’s statutory sector recognising that the best outcomes for children and young people are increasingly achieved working in partnership with all those who are committed to improving the lives of children and young people in NI.

The Children & Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP) is a multi- agency partnership that includes the leadership of key statutory agencies and community and voluntary organisations that have a responsibility for improving the lives of children and young people in Northern Ireland. Chief Executives represent statutory agencies on the partnership and an open call ensured senior representation of organisations from the community sector and voluntary sector.

Oasis is a local community group based in Portadown who work directly with over 700 children, young people and their families on a cross community basis, including a wide range of those from minority ethnic backgrounds.

About Almac Group
‘Partnering to Advance Human Health’

The Almac Group is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation that provides an extensive range of integrated services to the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors globally. The services range from R&D, biomarker discovery development and commercialisation, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply, IXRS® technology (IVRS/IWRS) through to commercial-scale manufacture.

The international company is a privately-owned organisation that has organically grown over 50 years and now employs close to 5600 highly skilled personnel.

Almac is headquartered in Craigavon with operations throughout Europe, the US (Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California) and Asia (Singapore and Tokyo).


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