River Beach Primary School staff provide food for local families

A team of Teaching Assistants at River Beach Primary School in Littlehampton has stepped in to help local families who faced food poverty over the school holidays. The group supplied food packages to families in need following the Government’s decision not to extend the Free School Meals programme over the October half-term.

Concerned at the likely impact, Pam Fowler, a Year 2 Teaching Assistant at River Beach, used Facebook to ask school families to contact her directly if they were concerned about feeding their children during the holidays. Several families got in touch, and Pam organised 11 Teaching Assistants from the school who not only delivered food throughout the week to families but also funded it themselves.

The group have now received offers of help from across the school community, and from Schoolsworks, the Academy Trust to which the school belongs. Donations have exceeded £350, which will be used to support River Beach families over the Christmas period as needed.

Dave Ayers, Headteacher at River Beach, commented: “River Beach is a wonderful community, and the fact that Pam and our TA team chose to work in this way to support our families in need really demonstrates this quality. This amazing group has gone above and beyond, and I am so proud of them and their incredible sense of kindness.”

Chris Seaton, CEO of Schoolsworks, added: “River Beach was one of the first schools to join our multi-academy trust and the whole team are a real pleasure to work with. Our offices are based on River Beach’s school site, and as soon as we heard about the work of Pam and her team we wanted to celebrate this extraordinary act. Since then staff from across our Trust have been keen to help by donating food and funds so that families don’t face the awful prospect of struggling to feed children during school holidays.”

Pam Fowler concluded: “We know what it’s like to be in a similar situation and just wanted to give something back to our school community.”

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