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28th Oct, 2021

Donation helps charity run free activities for kids during summer holidays

CHILDREN across Rugby can enjoy free activities throughout the summer led by a local organisation, thanks to a cash boost.

Fill the Gap has received a £2,000 donation from CALA Homes Midlands’ Community Bursary scheme.

The charity began operating in October 2020 following the government’s announcement that free school meals would come to an end.

Fill the Gap provided families with food parcels, with the donations coming direct from the volunteers’ pockets.

Now, Fill the Gap supports families of the borough in many different ways, such as cooking fresh meals for those in need, guiding families and signposting longer-term solutions, and helping educate parents and children with cooking sessions.

The organisation’s latest venture, a family-friendly sports camp, will offer children and parents the chance to enjoy free sporting events throughout August including rounders, netball and boxing, as well as cooking classes and sessions on growing your own produce.

The bursary from CALA Homes Midlands has allowed the organisation to hire the fields and courts for the summer camp, as well as purchasing sporting equipment and providing professional coaches to lead the sessions.

Katie Goodall, Founder of Fill the Gap, says that the bursary has been really important to the group’s efforts.

She said: “It’s been such a hard year for our local community, so we’re delighted that this bursary has allowed us to host our free summer camp which will provide a safe space for families to unwind and have fun.

“These types of events are so important in our community, not just for the physical benefits they bring but also the social gains. There are a lot of families in the local area who don’t really know anyone else, and we hope that this camp helps everyone, both parents and children, to make new friends.

“It will also give us ample opportunity to support any families struggling with money or food. Not only can we support with food donations, but we can also offer advice on budgeting and purse-friendly cooking ideas, as well as recommending other organisations who can help with long term solutions.”

The charity was one of six good causes across Warwickshire to receive a share of £10,000, including Rugby-based Pawprints Dog Rescue.

The Community Bursary initiative invites charities, voluntary organisations and community groups to apply for a share of funding from CALA, with more than 300 worthy causes now having received over £300,000 since CALA launched the initiative in 2016.

CALA Homes Midlands Regional Managing Director Andy Dicker said: “The last 12 months have been particularly hard for the charity and volunteering sectors, with many seeing reduced funding at a time when local communities need their services most.

“CALA aims to make a positive and lasting contribution to the communities in which we build and that’s more important now than ever. We know that this year’s Bursary will mean a great deal to Fill the Gap and the other charities selected and we can’t wait to follow their progress and see how the donations will make a real difference to local people.

“We would like to thank everyone who took the time to apply to the CALA Community Bursary this year and congratulate each and every one of them on the fantastic work they are doing within their communities.”

Visit www.cala.co.uk/bursary for more information on the CALA Homes Community Bursary.

Fill the Gap’s summer camp runs until August 28. Email rugbyfillthegap@gmail.com for details.

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