Revolution Performing Arts (RPA) – one of the South West’s leading performing arts companies for children and young people – is supporting Wiltshire County Council’s FUEL programme following an appeal to find willing providers of children’s activities during the summer holidays.
FUEL (Food Unity, Energy, Laughter) is the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme in Wiltshire funded by the Department of Education and aims to provide 100s of children, who would normally receive free school meals, with free access to activities and nutritious meals during the school holidays.
Founder of RPA, Fi Da Silva Adams stepped up when the council said it was struggling to find organisations to help deliver this support. Fi was herself one of those children who needed help in her school days.
She said: “School holidays can be a particularly difficult time for some families who are struggling to provide food and activities for children due to increased food and childcare costs and reduced incomes.
“Back in the day, I was one of those children that had free school meals, so I know what it feels like, and for me dancing and singing were my salvation. To be able to support all children now with such joyous activities, regardless of their family’s financial situation, is such a blessing for me and my team.”
The FUEL programme is a direct response to the growing issue of holiday hunger and aims to help not only those children eligible for free school meals, but also refugees, those currently in the care system, young carers and those referred by a professional service.
“There are 21 registered activity providers and community organisations currently on board with the Wiltshire FUEL initiative,” Fi explained. “But I believe RPA is the only performing arts group offering this important Government programme.”
The activities offered by RPA are singing, dancing, acting, circus and physical theatre workshops, arts and crafts, loom bands, den building, Nerf guns and outdoor activities to enjoy being with nature.
RPA has supported HAF helping Swindon families in the past, but the Wiltshire County Council’s FUEL programme has enabled RPA to extend the programme to families in Chippenham, Malmesbury, Marlborough and Royal Wootton Bassett.
In Chippenham and Marlborough, there will be seven sessions in each town over a two-week period and, in Malmesbury and Royal Wootton Bassett, there will be 12 sessions in each town over a three-week period – all running from 10am-2pm from July 31.
The FUEL programme is being held at the following four venues: Sheldon School, Hardenhuish Lane, Chippenham SN14 6HJ; the Town Hall, Cross Hayes, Malmesbury SN16 9BZ; the Youth & Community Centre, 30a St Margarets Mead, Marlborough SN8 4BA and the United Reformed Church, Wood Street, Royal Wootton Bassett SN4 7BD.
RPA was founded in 2007 by Fi Da Silva Adams and specialises in encouraging young people to celebrate their individuality through the power of performing arts on an equal footing regardless of family income.
Fi’s message to parents and carers is: “RPA is all about warmth, love and inclusion. The children don’t have to have any special talents and there are no auditions or exams. They come here to enjoy themselves and shine!”
All the RPA leaders have enhanced DBS police checks and have received full safe-guarding and first aid training.