The next phase of Healthy Living’s research programme, investigating  summer holiday club provision, got under way this summer when Healthy Living PhD student Jackie Shinwell visited school based holiday clubs in Scotland and the North East of England.

Healthy Living Director, Professor Greta Defeyter, said:

“We are delighted to be working with the schools in Scotland and the North East of England that hosted summer holiday clubs, Brakes and its Meals and More Programme and Children in Scotland to undertake this research.

 “Their support is vital in underpinning the next phase of our research programme, which is extensive and one in which we will be gathering hard evidence, data, on the impact summer holiday clubs have on health and educational outcomes. Emily Mann, a PhD Researcher in Healthy Living has already presented evidence to the APPG on Holiday Hunger, mapping summer holiday club provision against the social deprivation index.

PhD student Jackie Shinwell, who is jointly funded by Brakes and Northumbria University, said:

“It is vitally important to understand the real lived experiences of those attending and organising holiday clubs, and it’s a privilege to be able to visit some of the clubs to undertake qualitative research in this subject area.  The data emerging from those interviews will help underpin and inform further areas of study over the period of my PhD.”

Whilst PhD student Jackie Shinwell  was visiting one club, Lindsay Graham, Child Food Poverty Policy Advisor and Chair of the Holiday Hunger Task Group also called in. Lindsay, who undertook a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fellowship in 2014 to research the USDA’s 25 year ‘Summer Meals’ policy said:

 “It’s been wonderful to have the opportunity to visit the two Glasgow based Food Families and Futures holiday provision projects. There is such a lot of valuable learning here on so many levels. Community support, efficient utilisation of public space, skills development and social cohesion to name but a few. Every time I visit a summer provision project or indeed any holiday provision project I learn about how they are making a difference to all involved. Today it’s been all about play and the sheer value of having fun can be seen on the children and parents faces. Absolutely priceless. The UK is way behind policy when it comes to holiday meal provision and the USA has much to teach us on running such programmes on a national scale.

“What will be extremely important to the future of such projects and programmes is the research on impact and what it can tell us. That’s why I am very pleased to see the PhD student Jackie Shinwell from Northumbria Universities Healthy Living Research lab here today.  The lab led by Professor Greta Defeyter has been at the forefront on research into Holiday Provision in the UK and I am very much looking forward to the lab’s new publications due out before the end of the year.”

PHD Research student Jackie Woods (left) and Child Food Poverty Policy Advisor Lindsay Graham (right)