A week of Feast of Fun at Home activities led by St Mary’s Church in Grassendale was a catalyst to inspire future social action, after volunteers reached 150 people with food, fellowship and fun.

Fifty local children and their parents received family meal packs with ingredients and recipes to cook pizza baguettes, sausage pasta bake, a full English breakfast, a lemon drizzle cake, and pancakes.

The church hosted two on-line baking classes for children and parents, soup and sandwich meal delivery for the elderly and isolated, a fruit treasure hunt for toddlers, and a Youth Alpha pancake party, in total reaching 150 people during February half term.

St Marys Grassendale Fo F Feb 2021

Twelve church volunteers joined together with local, Cressington ward, councillors, and staff from Torus Housing association to deliver the activities funded by a Feast of Fun at Home grant from Together Liverpool.

St Mary’s Church Outreach Worker Heather Dykins said the project had been a catalyst to inspire future social action in the parish, with ideas now being explored set up a food pantry, host a job club and start talks about housing with local residents and councillors.

The church also hopes to support residents to access fuel grants through the local housing association and plan a biodiversity initiative in the future to keep families engaged.

“This Feast of Fun at Home activity has spring-boarded us to think about how we can reach out further and given us the confidence to come up with great activities for other families and people in the Parish. It’s been really exciting!

“We wanted to do something to help address food insecurity in our area and, also find ways to bring people together.,

“The feedback we had from some of the parents was lovely! For some they were just so happy to do an activity with a purpose behind it and for others, it was just nice to not have to plan another activity themselves after weeks of home schooling and trying to keep on top of things.”

"By far the greatest joy was in giving the family meal packs. By linking with our local councillors they were able to help us get these packs to those that would need it most.

“The family bags of food really helped to ease the pressure on the week.

"It released the families to not have to think about food. It was very cold the week before and people were having to spend their money on heating, so our meal packs came at just the right time."

St Marys Grassendale pizza and fruit

Heather said: “We now have some good links to Torus Housing who have sent us a grant application for work in the hall and our good relationships with our local councillors have grown even stronger, and there is a new level of trust in working with each other to bring about change.

“We are looking to hopefully do some more food and baking activities around Easter and in the Summer holidays, and it has got us thinking about ideas around biodiversity projects that we want to explore too as some children and families would love that.”

“It feels like it’s opened doors for a positive way for us to be able to help address food insecurity and it’s helped us build relationships to work towards addressing some of these long-term problems.

“None of this would have happened without the Feast of Fun at Home grant funding, we wouldn’t have been able to springboard like this at all, we just wouldn’t have been able to do any of these projects.

“So many positives have come from this week – thank you for what this funding has allowed us to do with our local area and helping those in need."