On Wednesday the 22nd of June, MTHA launched its National Lottery Community Funded project, Fit and Fed. Held at Merthyr Town FC, the launch welcomed over 30 guests, including Deputy Mayor Malcom Colbran, to celebrate the £299,281 grant.

What is Fit and Fed?

In a nutshell, Fit and Fed Merthyr Tydfil is a school holiday programme, that provides fun, active and educative sessions for children and young people, that enhances the quality of their leisure time. As part of these sessions, those children and young people who take part, get a free healthy and balanced meal and snacks, that help fuel them for the rest of their day. Here is a quick video that captures Fit and Fed Merthyr Tydfil in action,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NUgD-s6Sjg&t=28s

How it started: Back in October 2017, we were approached by Street Games Wales to be involved with a pilot, along with the then, Forsythia Youth Project, now MVH Youth. In October half term, three sessions were run, where children and young people could take part in a range of sports and physical activity, and be provided with a healthy meal, with plenty of healthy snacks to be on hand. Over the three sessions, we engaged with over 30 different children and young people and that began the Fit and Fed Merthyr Tydfil journey.

In 2018-2019, MTHA applied to Voluntary Action Merthyr Tydfil for ICF Funding through the local health board, to run Fit and Fed across multiple sites across Merthyr Tydfil. We were successful in gaining £12,467 to run Fit and Fed Merthyr Tydfil across the borough.

Working with eight local trusted partners, we established Fit and Fed sites across the borough. During the funding period, Fit and Fed Merthyr Tydfil engaged with 748 different children and young people, providing 2,230 healthy meals and 159 hours of physical activity.

Through the insight gained from the ICF funding and a further two years of delivering Fit and Fed, we used this to develop an application to National Lottery Community Fund, to expand Fit and Fed Merthyr Tydfil further. Thanks to the National Lottery’s Community Fund, Fit and Fed Merthyr Tydfil will deliver to 14 sites across the borough in going forward, and will provide a valuable lifeline to the families of Merthyr Tydfil.