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Lisson Grove charity works hard during lockdown to feed, look after and educate vulnerable Westminster families

PUBLISHED: 10:08 25 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:00 25 July 2020

Volunteers pack food parcels at the Central London Youth Development Trust. Picture; CLYD

Volunteers pack food parcels at the Central London Youth Development Trust. Picture; CLYD

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During lockdown a Lisson Grove charity has helped to feed more than 100 families, and has now moved on to providing activity packs and even cooking lessons to vulnerable children in the north of Westminster.

Cllr Aziz Toki, of the Central London Youth Development Trust. Picture: CLYD/Aziz TokiCllr Aziz Toki, of the Central London Youth Development Trust. Picture: CLYD/Aziz Toki

The Central London Youth Development Trust – based in Penfold Street – has been running a four-phase programme called “Kids Care” during the pandemic to support young people and their families.

The charity’s support began with essential food parcels, but has expanded throughout the lockdown period.

At the height of lockdown, the charity identified that food shortages in supermarkets were making life difficult for deprived families, and stepped in, with help from the council’s local ward budget, to deliver food parcels to 105 families identified as especially in need.

But the support did not stop there.

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Volunteers painstakingly put together activity packs to support the mental health and wellbeing of youngsters.

Informed by advice from clinical psychologists and senior school leaders, and funded by the London Community Fund, 150 differentiated activity packs were delivered to children ranging from five to 16 years old.

The idea was to make sure children were stimulated and not missing out on vital aspects of their childhood.

Getting children cooking was then on the agenda, with a project called Fun and Learn getting recipes and cooking advice to 31 families, and helping parents to make nutritious meals for their families.

Local councillor Cllr Aziz Toki (Lab, Church Street), director of the charity, said: “During these sensitive times, our most vulnerable families were in need of support. As a charity, we recognised the lack of help these families were receiving and therefore made it our mission to try and help as many as possible.

“I have been overwhelmed with the positive and heart touching comments I have been getting from these families.”

He added his thanks for the funding bodies who had supported the CLYD’s work, saying: “Without their help it would not be possible to support those vulnerable people.”

The CLYD now plans to work on boosting the wellbeing and education of children impacted by the pandemic.


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