David Dorward retired as Chief Executive of Dundee City Council in December 2014, and was aware that children who received free school meals in term time, had no such provision during the school holiday.
In October 2015 Lindsay Graham, a Winston Churchill Memorial fellow gave a lecture on Holiday Hunger at the Rank Foundation annual conference. David Dorward heard her speak and came back to Dundee determined to start a school holiday meals provision on the City.
In April 2016, Tay Cuisine who deliver the Meals at Home service in Dundee, 365 days a year, agreed to prepare hot meals for a pilot Fun and Food Programme in the Lochee Ward of Dundee. Dundee City Council agreed to fund the pilot. In total 400 hot meals were delivered and the concept was proven.
In June 2016, Radio Tay Cash for Kids donated £23,000, and the Northwood Trust £15,000 to assist the Fun and Food Programme. Dundee City Council agreed to match fund these amounts. This provided sufficient funding to run the Fun and Food programme for a 12-month period
In June 2016 Tay Cuisine agreed to provide cold meals, including water and fruit for a cost price of £2 a meal. Dundee City Council offered to provide the transport, drivers and attendants necessary to deliver the meals to the various community projects who offered out of school provision during the summer holidays. Gillian Kelly was taken on to help plan and deliver the programme.
In July/August 2016 the Fun and Food Programme delivered 19,300 cold meals to 76 individual sites over this six-week summer holiday period. In addition, we were able to provide a cash float to each project of between £50 and £300. Dundee Foodbank provided cereals and a relatively low level of breakfasts were provided.
In October 2016, the programme delivered 3,800 meals over 25 projects during the two-week school holiday period.
In November 2016, the Rank Foundation agreed to Gillian becoming a Time to Shine Intern, and the Fun and Food Programme had its first full-time employee.
In December 2016, the programme delivered 42 £20 vouchers to families in the Lochee ward, to support them during the Christmas period.
In February 2017, the Fun and Food Programme won an Evening Telegraph Community Spirit Award for Health and Wellbeing.
In March 2017, Radio Tay Cash for Kids confirmed further funding of £25,000, and Northwood Trust £17,000, this allowing the Fun and Food Programme to be delivered in 2017. The City Council continued with its match funding offer.
In April 2017, the Fun and Food Programme delivered 7,200 cold meals to 33 projects. Within these totals the level of breakfasts had increased to 1,700, as projects identified that children were arriving at their projects in the morning, and were hungry. In addition, we were able deliver 2000 Easter Eggs to children throughout Dundee.
On the 17th May 2017 Dundee Bairns received confirmation from the Office of Scottish Charity Regulator that we were now an official Scottish Charity. This will mean that Dundee Bairns can make applications to other charities and funders for funding. To facilitate this we partnered with the Saltire Foundation and took on Lauren Mckie as a summer intern.
In July/August 2017 Dundee Bairns will deliver just under 19,000 cold meals to approximately 50 individual projects, including some 4,000 breakfasts.
The Charity’s objectives are much wider than the current Fun and Food Programme, and other projects to help young children living in areas of deprivation are now being actively worked upon.
Director, Dundee Bairns