Youth First, a charity founded by Lewisham Council in 2016, provides youth work to thousands of young people in the borough every year and specialises in support for those aged 8-19 or up to 25 years old for those with additional needs.
Victoria O’Brien, Youth First’s Community and Events Fundraising Officer, told Eastlondonlines: “Previous winter campaigns at Youth First have been for general donations to support activity with young people most in need of youth work support, however last year and this year our need has focused around feeding our young people.”
The appeal announced this week follows a noticeable increase in the number of children coming to youth clubs hungry since the onset of the cost-of-living crisis.
Staff says those from disadvantaged backgrounds are being worst hit.
O’Brien said: “I have been working on food projects for the last year, trying to source surplus food for our sites. We have had some wonderful support from our generous partners this year, however, we need more help to do this.”
Donations from the appeal will be used to make sure that families don’t have to make increasingly hard choices between a hot meal and fuel.
Youth First also provides youth clubs, 1 to 1 work, targeted informal education and year-round after-school and holiday provision and many other services for young people in the Lewisham area.
To find out more about how food banks are coping with recent increases in demand read here.