Pasta bake was delicious we added some broccoli cos girls don’t like onions and we loved making the penguins

Easter 2021 – the end of lockdowns is in sight, but there’s one more school holiday with museums empty, libraries shut, and shops closed.

After a year of schools being opened, then closed, then open again, we knew that some children were being disproportionately affected by remote-learning. We also knew some parents weren’t able to access the support usually provided through free school meals.

So we approached Hartlepool Borough Council with an idea – to do what we used to do in our tea room: feed people, and provide a space to socialise and to learn. But we’d do it virtually – by providing daily packs of board games, ingredients, and craft materials.

Because we couldn’t cook for people safely due to social distancing issues, we provided the ingredients for a healthy meal with easy-to-follow instructions, both written and videoed (thanks to St Matthew’s Hall for providing the kitchen space!). We also provided three games, with instructions on how to play via Zoom. Each game helped to keep maths skills sharp: we had Hey, That’s My Fish!; Kingdomino; and Sushi Go!

We also used the games as a theme for the day, with a simple craft and outdoor activity to go alongside it.

In total we had 22 families take part every day – and a huge thank you to those who shared pictures and stories from your week.

Empty plates all around even the teen ate the veg

If you were part of the club, please fill out this form – we’re not listed on question 5, so if you could add ‘BOARDom Busters’ to the ‘other’ box, that would be amazing.

We must also thank Throston and Rossmere primary schools for lending us some space to be able to safely distribute the packs every day.

We hope to do something similar over summer, and something better aimed at teens too. If you’d like to find out more closer to the time, please fill out this form: