On 17/12/19 the following update was sent out to all Children First Alliance supporters and all change.org signatories.
An update on recent activity and future plans
Healthy Holiday Meals project
The Children First Alliance is determined to be about actions, not just words.
You will no doubt have seen reports about holiday hunger. Hard-pressed families struggle during the school holidays when free school meals are unavailable and those in work on low pay also have to cope with child care costs. Government has at least recognised there is a problem and have some very limited pilot projects in place to run for two years however many of the most affected areas had their bids turned down. We have therefore committed to pilot projects of our own where the need is greatest in Tower Hamlets, North Bristol and Blackpool for the 2020 summer holidays.
We will shortly begin a fundraising drive to finance these projects. Individual donations from £500 and donations from organisations from £4,000 will be sought. We will contact you again about this. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor I would be happy to brief you more fully. If you are considering making a charitable donation over Christmas please consider this. For organisations, this would be an excellent way to fulfil your CSR commitment.
In support of this initiative our President, Baroness (Frances) D’Souza, is introducing a Private Members Bill requiring Government to address the problem nationally.
Childhood in Crisis Newsletter
We will shortly begin to circulate a regular and frequent newsletter to all MPs. As you know, negative stories about child health and wellbeing come thick and fast. We will also share the newsletters with you. We need to bring this to the attention of policy-makers persistently to drive the issue up their agenda. We will be asking for their support by tabling questions and motions in Parliament and by seeking debates on these matters. If you would like to write to your constituency MP or others you or your organisation have connections to we would be happy to help.
The Prime Minister
Yesterday we wrote to the Prime Minister (following on from our letter to him before the election) asking him to appoint a Cabinet Minister for child health and wellbeing. We will keep you updated.
Another Private Members Bill?
We have drafted a PMB requiring Government to incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into domestic law. We are currently seeking an MP to table this Bill. If you can help to identify a willing Parliamentarian please let us know.
Speaking at Conferences
Recently our leading spokesman Steve Franks spoke at the What’s on 4 Kids awards ceremony and our campaign manager Phil Royal spoke at the Towards a Child Friendly City Conference. We would be happy to provide a speaker for further Conferences.
The new Government
In the previous Parliament progress was difficult. The agenda was swamped with rows over Brexit and with no clear majority politicians were consumed by political considerations. Like it or loathe it, the new Government has a clear majority and will be better able to focus on other matters. We will be increasing our efforts on behalf of child health and wellbeing and we will keep you informed more frequently from now on.
Many thanks for your support and very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
The Children First Alliance