Trio of charities unite to raise cash for extra activities in school holidays

Posted On 30 Jan 2023 at 5:32 pm

Three Brighton-based charities are uniting to provide extra school holiday activities for low-income families.

GladRags, Chomp Moulsecoomb and Chomp Bevendean have also started fundraising to pay for the extra sessions, with East Brighton Trust to match the total.

Alongside the usual Chomp sessions, providing a hot meal and activities for families, the charities want to lay on more free activities and outings.

Gladrags provides community costumes – outfits and fabrics for dressing up – as well as activities based around textiles.

Vania Mills, from Gladrags, said: “We’ve been working with Chomp for a while and the idea is that, when you’re bringing people or children who have challenging lives or complex needs, it’s time for them to tap out of the day to day, just trying to survive.

“It’s great for the parents too. When parents get involved, they find it really therapeutic as well.

“We get to witness the really transformational aspect of putting on a costume and imagining you’re somewhere else or someone else.”

Chomp Bevendean co-ordinator Mitchie Alexander said: “We try to aim for one session a week in school holidays.

“A big part of Chomp Bevendean is trips as well, where we cover people’s bus fares.

“The fundraiser is to allow us to do more, especially over summer.

“It would also help us bring outside people in. A puppeteer made puppets with the kids at another Chomp session but we need extra funding for things like that.

“The parents and carers are definitely of equal importance at a Chomp session. It can fill a whole day in the holidays.”

The three charities have set up a “winter warmer” appeal with a target of £2,500. They said that a £25 donation could fund a free trip for two families, for example, to a National Trust park, with transport included.

A donation of £50 could provide the ingredients of a dinner offered to nine low-income families.

The charities have collaborated before, with Gladrags bringing costumes, dressing up corners and textile crafts to Chomp sessions but this is the first time that the charities have raised funds together.

They are planning a valentine-themed event for the February half-term holiday and hope to repeat previous successes from their Halloween and Christmas pantomime events.

To find out more about the fundraiser or to donate, click here.

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