Over 50 parents and children from Dearne, Darfield and Wombwell, and Central Family Centres attended an event at the forest school in Silkstone Woods as part of a Rose Voucher celebration day – one of many taking place across the country this month.
Despite the wet weather, there was plenty of fun to be had, with a woodland adventure trail, a healthy cooking session, puddle jumping and a fire pit serving up some warming stew and jacket potatoes.
For over 100 years Alexandra Rose Charity (ARC) held street collections across the country in June to celebrate Rose Day. These celebrations ended in 2012 when the charity began a process of relaunching itself to focus on healthy eating and food poverty. Five years on and the charity now supports over 1,000 families across England to access fresh fruit and vegetables in their local communities, to give children the healthiest possible start.
To celebrate this achievement and the hard work of their local partners, ARC is relaunching Rose Day this June. The activities taking place during June will showcase the fantastic work of local children’s centres, the retailers and market’s teams involved in the scheme, as well as celebrate the wonderful Rose Voucher families.
In Barnsley, Rose Vouchers are available to families on low incomes, worth £3 per child every week, (double if the child is under one year old) and can only be redeemed at markets that sell fresh fruit and vegetables.
Rose Vouchers not only help young families to buy fresh fruit and vegetables while developing the skills and confidence to give their children the healthiest start in life but also support Barnsley’s local markets, maintaining their position as sources of healthy low-cost food in areas that often suffer from poor food access.
The Barnsley scheme started as a pilot in 2016 and was the first one to take place outside of London.
Jonathan Pauling, Chief Executive Alexandra Rose Charity: “It’s fantastic to see Rose Day celebrated across the country again. The project in Barnsley has been a huge success and that’s thanks to the hard work of our local project partners. The Rose Day events are all about celebrating the achievements of the scheme to date and raising the profile of the Rose Vouchers for Fruit and Veg Project in Barnsley and the great impact it’s having for local families and markets.”
Cllr Margaret Bruff, Barnsley Council’s Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said:
“The Rose Voucher scheme continues to have a really positive impact in Barnsley.
“The vouchers are supporting families to adopt healthier lifestyles in the crucial years before school starts and the additional support from Family Centres such as cooking classes are helping them develop the skills and confidence to provide their families with the healthiest start.
“Despite the weather, families really enjoyed the celebration event and we received some great feedback. Thank you to everyone who was involved in the day.”