Sheringham Woodfields School is a complex learning and health needs school supporting both children and young adults educating a total 132 pupils. They received a Covid-19 Community Response grant towards the continuation of their food boxes and hygiene care or PPE delivery service to families of 22 children who have complex and life limiting conditions.

During the Covid-19 lock down the school stayed open for certain children of key workers, they mobilised promptly to provide both vouchers and food boxes to affected families not to mention they ran an extensive programme of support and distance learning for all the pupils. Sheringham Woodfields also needed assist with food provisions to 48 pupils who are registered for free school meals and with no kitchen facilities on site they used their initiative and were resourceful.

In addition the Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the need for food boxes as within 3 days the school received requested from four additional families who previously had a sufficient level of income coming into the household. Some parents have been affected by job loss during the crisis and applied for free school meal support which increased the capacity.

These all-important boxes not only met the dietary needs for individual children but also addressed fundamental support around hygiene by including cleaning chemicals, sanitary and hygiene products. On top of this it supported the wider family with bulk items such as pasta, beans and cereal.

Furthermore when making home visits through delivering the food and hygiene boxes the staff have talked to the families, seen the particular pupil and asked for feedback on any further requests for support. In recent days this has included additional welfare calls or home visits, arranging an electric oven fitting, delivering urgent medical supplies, installing a USB Stick to support social interaction and assisting with emotional needs.

The food boxes and PPE has been a real life line to families across Norfolk as the majority of children have been at home, they helped families who were eligible for Free School Meals and who do not wish to receive a voucher or those unable to get to vital shops.

Altogether the staff have really worked hard and school business manager Matthew Smith has noticed “All staff at Sheringham Woodfields School have very much risen to the challenged presented by Covid-19” as in just one week 67 parcels and food boxes have been sent to families homes representing just over a 50% uptake of outreach support from the school.