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Raising Awareness of School Holiday Hunger in the UK

It is important to recognise that without a good publicity machine, Fit and Fed wouldn’t be where it is now. And APCO have done this work for us. Charities like ours need organisations like APCO to promote us and manage relations with the media. The APCO team has done a great job.

Jane Ashworth

CEO of StreetGames

Addressing Childhood Hunger

Every summer, 73 percent of the poorest families in the UK struggle to afford feeding their children during the school holidays, an issue which is estimated to affect 400,000 families. Despite these alarming statistics, the problem of holiday hunger was relatively unknown in the UK, with few resources allocated to tackle it. In response, the charity StreetGames – which aims to change lives and communities by encouraging disadvantaged young people to become engaged in sport – launched their ‘Fit and Fed’ campaign.

Fit and Fed brings together 160 organisations working to tackle the holiday gap of hunger, inactivity and isolation experienced by many of the poorest young people in the UK. StreetGames engaged APCO Worldwide, their long-standing communications partner, to help raise awareness of the issue of holiday hunger, as well as the wider work the charity is doing to support young people in disadvantaged communities across the country.

Securing High-Profile Support

APCO designed an integrated media and political campaign, which kicked off with the formal launch of Fit and Fed at Parliament in September 2017. APCO ensured the launch demonstrated cross-party political support, with representatives from all major parties attending, alongside high-profile athletes such as Sol Campbell, former England international footballer; Matt Dawson, retired English rugby union player; and James Cracknell, former Olympic rower. The Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch MP, was the keynote speaker at the event, acknowledging the importance of the work done by organisations such as StreetGames and offering government backing for the campaign.

Following the successful launch of this campaign, the charity attracted the attention of Kensington Palace. Prince Harry and his then new fiancée Meghan Markle chose a Fit and Fed programme for their first joint official visit in Wales. The royal couple’s interest in StreetGames then led to the charity being one of those personally selected by the pair to receive donations in lieu of wedding presents.

Making StreetGames a Household Name

Since the launch of Fit and Fed, APCO has secured significant coverage for StreetGames across top tier national print and broadcast media, including BBC News, ITV News, The Daily Mail, Vanity Fair, The Daily Express, The Sun, The Daily Mirror, Huffington Post and the Metro, among others.

As a result of this campaign, the issue of holiday hunger has received much more attention in the UK and is now firmly established on the political and media agenda. The campaign has also raised public awareness of the charity and led to a significant increase in donations, helping StreetGames to continue and expand this important work for the most disadvantaged young people across the UK.