Firstsite: Helping Families in Need in Colchester

In this section

Thanks to our donation, Firstsite were able to provide over 1,000 hot meals for families in need this Easter.

Firstsite are an arts charity who seek to improve the wellbeing and life chances of people in East Anglia. By empowering people through creative activities, they aim to help everyone lead happier and healthier lives. They work with around 130,000 people every year. 

Earlier this year, we awarded them £2,500 from our Community Cares Fund to help them run an Easter holiday club for children of families experiencing financial challenges. Thanks to our support, 140 children in Colchester and their families were able to have fun and be creative, as well as enjoying a hot, nutritious meal.  

Sue Hogan, Programme Manager, Learning and Education from Firstsite tells us more about the impact this funding has had:  

‘We’ve been running holiday activity days since Summer 2017 and, since then, we’ve seen a growing need for our services. We work closely with different community groups to make sure that we reach the families who need our support.  

Every day, the children enjoy some physical activity, ranging from Street Dance to Cricket and Football and creative activity led by artists, connected to our programme of exhibitions by award winning and nationally renowned artists. After all that, they’re in need of a hot, nutritious meal! Across the 9 days of our Easter project, we provided over 1,000 meals to over 140 children and their families. Many of the children we support are in receipt of free school meals or are facing financial challenges; this moment to pause and share food together is vitally important to bringing people together as well as delivering good nutrition. 

It’s incredible to see the difference that this makes to the people we support. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, the holidays can be a particularly anxious time. But, with the space to have fun and explore their creative talents, we are helping people to build their confidence, reforge relationships and discover new ones. If there are people who need extra support, we’re able to signpost them to people who can help. No matter who you are or what you’ve gone through, we want to make sure everyone we work with feels happy and connected to those around them. 

We’re so grateful to the members and customers shopping at the East of England Co-op for enabling this really important work to happen.’ 

Find out more about the impact of our Community Cares Fund or click here to discover how you can help us make a difference.