Promoting health & wellbeing in disenfranchised communities & geographical locations

The McClay Foundation exists to make a meaningful improvement in the advancement of human health and is proud to be playing its part during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The following project is partnering with Children in Northern Ireland (CiNI).

This year, the Foundation is proud to continue its support for the “Portadown Gets Active” programme. First established in 2017, the scheme is designed to help support families in the Portadown area who are entitled to free school meals during term-time and face a number of challenges which have been proven to be detrimental to their educational development during holiday periods when free school meal entitlement ends. The initiative also encourages young people to stay active during the summer months and help them understand the importance of healthy living by providing them with the skills and confidence to cook simple, nutritious meals on a budget.

The project was created by Children in Northern Ireland in response to evidence that many families face severe difficulties during holiday periods when free school meal entitlement ends. The summer scheme not only provides a healthy snack and lunch, but also gives children the opportunity to take part in a range of activities and gain an OCN qualification in Healthy Living. A total of 82 children are taking part in the programme this summer.

Alan Armstrong, CEO Almac commented, “Despite the challenges imposed by COVID, it is great to see so many young people attending this fantastic programme. The effort and commitment shown by the organisers and leaders is truly remarkable. Clearly the children are not only enjoying the various planned activities, but they are learning a great deal about looking after their mental and physical wellbeing and the importance of eating a nutritious meal every day.”

Pauline Leeson, Chief Executive of Children in Northern Ireland commented, “For some families, particularly those who receive free school meals, the school holidays can be a struggle with increased food budgets, childcare costs and paying for activities to keep children entertained. Many parents are faced with the difficult choice of how to feed their whole family, with many parents going without in order to feed their children. This programme aims to support parents outside of term-time and offers young people a range of activities which will stay with them as they transition into adulthood.”


If the aims and purposes of your organisation align with the strategic focus areas of the McClay Foundation and you wish to partner with us in the furtherance of those aims and purposes, please get in touch.

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