Huntingdon school calls for help to save its breakfast club

Huntingdon Mayor Councillor Bill Hensley with Thongsley headteacher Rachel Myer at the school's breakfast club. Huntingdon Mayor Councillor Bill Hensley with Thongsley headteacher Rachel Myer at the school's breakfast club.

Friday, July 4, 2014
5:47 PM

Each weekday morning, up to 100 children arrive at Thongsley Fields Primary School in Huntingdon at 8.10am ready to have their breakfast.

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Cereal, milk and toast are served, setting up the children – from nursery age to Year 6 – for a day of learning.

The school, in Buttsgrove Way, says the free breakfasts not only ensure the children have had something to eat – many would not otherwise have breakfast – but help increase their attention span and therefore their ability to learn.

But Thongsley is struggling to balance its books and the breakfast club, which costs £21,000 a year to run, could soon be off the menu if a sponsor or some fundraisers are not found. The money pays for 16,000 breakfasts a year as well as staffing costs.

Mary-Lou Tyler, the school’s finance and office manager, told The Hunts Post: “The costs have previously been taken from the school budget but because Cambridgeshire is bottom of the league table for funding, it’s impossible to find £21,000 to maintain the breakfast club.”

The school is looking at getting the club charity status, but this would require the new charity to have about £10,000.

It does not have that money – in fact it has enough money to finish off the school year and continue to feed the children up until Christmas when they return for the new academic year.

Its future is reliant on fundraisers, grants and donations.

“We are looking for any help,” added Mrs Tyler. “Sponsors, volunteer fundraisers or local suppliers who could provide the cereals, bread or milk.

“You couldn’t wish for better children at this school, which is why the school made a decision to prioritise their welfare and to fund the breakfast club.

“Due to challenges that some families face, without our breakfast club a number of our children would miss out on this important start to the day.”

INFORMATION: If you can help Thongsley’s breakfast club 
through sponsorship, supplies 
or volunteering, call Mary-Lou Tyler on 01480 375321.

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