Response to school closures

Mar 20, 20200 comments

In late-March, with the UK moving into lockdown and schools across the country closing, it was clear that many families would struggle to access food and essential items.

When the government revealed its intention to provide families with food vouchers to replace free school meals, it was obvious that many families would suffer unnecessary hardship and grief. 

Ignite Life, Impact Mentoring and partners sought to make sure that if vulnerable families were to be ‘locked down’ they would ‘not’ be ‘locked out’. For a great deal of families, the contingency measures and the voucher scheme itself were to be ‘broad brush’, ‘catch all’ and ‘ineffective’. We believe that no child should go hungry. The fact remains, there are many families who cannot use the vouchers, and the level of support vulnerable families have received has in too many cases been appalling.

It was not long before the reports started. Many families were receiving poor, substitute pack lunches. The stability and structure of school was gone. Unfortunately, government and the voucher scheme were slow in implementation leaving many families enduring weeks of stress and worry. That was the start…

The Sun: 26 March 2020 

Express and Star: 26 March 2020

The Daily Mirror: 27 March 2020

No Child|Should|Go Hungry

Free school meals Bristol March 2020

We Appealed For Help To Support Those Most In Need

Ignite Life Blog Post


Unit 6
Bridge Road
BS15 4FW


Dear Sir or Madam,

The Secretary of State for Education, The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson, has announced that schools will be closed from Friday the 20th of March 2020. Despite the government’s necessary measures and contingency planning, this move will leave many children and young people in need and at an increased risk of physical and emotional harm.

We are collaborating with all the stakeholders, schools, charities and businesses that we can to create an initiative which ensures that many young people in the locality, who are in receipt of free school meals, receive the support that they need during this time of national crisis.

Due to the nature of our day-to-day work, we have access to trained professionals who are in a position to provide some of the most vulnerable young people in the region with a welfare check and to also provide them with a hot and/or cold meal and/or essential groceries and staple goods.

Our biggest concern is for the welfare and safety of our most vulnerable – those for whom home is a challenging environment, those whose families are on low income and will suffer greatly from having to feed children at home without free school meals, and those whose mental health will be impacted by any forced isolation or social distancing.

We can provide this service for as little as £10 per visit and unit of provision. The more help we receive, through monetary donations as well as donations of time, expertise, food and goods, the more children and young people we can help.

We would be grateful for any support or assistance that you can provide during the uncertain weeks ahead.

Yours faithfully,

Thomas Gould

CEO of Ignite Life. Charity No. 1181408
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 07814019447

Wayne Cockram
Managing Director of Impact Mentoring
Email:[email protected]
Tel: 07786 933 942