DET & Chaysestar Entertainment is two organisations that join forces to deliver activities for children during the school holidays. The aim is simple. To take children outside, into nature and away from screens. Instead of phones, tablets and video games, kids take part in outdoor play, adventuring, drumming and acting workshops and cooking sessions.
Club leaders, Naomi & Tracey, operate an open door policy. Anyone is welcome, including children who don’t speak English as their first language, and those with learning disabilities. Naomi and Tracey work hard to ensure that no one is left out and that every child has a fun, meaningful experience, whatever their needs.
Joel has ADHD alongside other complex educational and behavioural needs. In the past, he’s been asked to leave clubs as his behaviour was seen as too disruptive. Joel arrived at the club with his Mum, Claire – who stayed with him at first to support him and step in if needed. It didn’t take her long to realise that the club staff and volunteers were equipped to meet his needs and deliver the same enjoyable, meaningful experience as for every other child. Now, Joel attends the club regularly, with his younger brother.
Food is critical to every session. Many of the children that attend are eligible for free school meals. When the school gates close at the end of term, families are left without a lifeline and holiday clubs like DET Chaysestar play an integral role in the fight against holiday hunger. Till recently, DET Chaysestar did their best to source good quality food to feed the children, but their budget was limited.
Now they receive regular deliveries from FareShare South West, the holiday club can access much greater volumes of food than they could ever afford and a much wider choice. Their weekly delivery means there’s more than enough food for everyone. The food is more adventurous and they can afford to provide for different dietary, allergies, and religious requirements.
“Kids are fickle when it comes to food so this is a great help even for the fussy eaters. The holiday club would look completely different if we didn’t use FareShare South West food.”
Having food from FareShare South West means there is often enough to send families home with a food parcel, and provide extra snacks for hungry children. The food they provide not only keeps children from going hungry, it alleviates stress and worry for parents, who find it hard to provide for their children.
“Parents always appreciate any food we send home…and they’re always impressed with the quality. We make sure nothing goes to waste.”
And it doesn’t stop there. DET Chaysestar use ingredients from FareShare South West for their cooking workshops, introducing the children to fruit and vegetables they’ve never seen before. One week they used the courgettes and peppers to make colourful vegetable kebabs. The club always takes time to explain where food comes from, connecting cooking and planting and encouraging children to grow vegetables themselves.
“The children get very excited with the cooking workshops” says Naomi, “especially when it’s involving things they haven’t seen before.”
“The experience of signing up to FareShare South West from start to finish has been fantastic. Very smooth and easy to do. The team was helpful at every turn – always listening to requests of thing we did and didn’t want. Thank you for being so helpful”