Demand grows for school holiday camp in Chesterfield as cost of living rises

  • Video report by Katie Oscroft

A free school holiday camp run by Chesterfield FC says it has seen a huge increase in demand as parents struggle to cope with the rising cost of living.

Children on free school meals or with special needs are referred to Camp Inspire by schools and social services.

Youngsters take part in sporting activities, learn about nutrition and are given a meal.

Organiser Steve Roberts, from Chesterfield FC Community Trust, said many parents could not afford to take their children for days out.

"We've had messages from parents just thanking us and saying they don't know what they would have done if this hadn't been on. They're having to choose between activities and feeding the children," he said.

Steve Roberts, Project Manager, Camp Inspire

Rebecca McDonald, a senior economist from the Joseph Rowntree Trust, said that thousands of children are living in poverty but many more are missing out because their families cannot afford small luxuries.

"It may just be the bus fare to go and see a friend, or being able to go to an experience, or the seaside for the day. All that is getting more difficult because families are really feeling the squeeze at the moment," she said.

A government spokesperson told ITV News: "We've invested millions into the Holiday Activities and Food Programme to ensure that vulnerable children have access to free and healthy food options over the school holidays.

"Vulnerable children and families can access welfare support through billions in investment, including the Household Support Fund which was recently doubled to £1 billion.

"This is on top of the biggest ever increase in the National Living Wage since its introduction, to support working families more widely."