THE manager of a Swindon community centre kickstarted a support scheme to feed starving children over the school holidays.

Glinn Hambidge watched in despair as the government voted against extending the free school meals initiative over the half-term.

The Western Community Centre manager decided something had to be done and quickly got to work setting up a fundraiser to pay for sandwiches and packed lunches that he and other volunteers would prepare and give out over the next two weeks.

After raising more than £1,000 in two days and receiving offers of help from dozens of people, Glinn hopes to spread the word and turn this into a Swindon-wide effort that would continue over the winter break if necessary.

He said: “I was hugely surprised by the government’s decision because we are in a worse scenario now than in the summer.

“Redundancies are happening across the whole country and more people who normally don’t have an issue with their finances struggling to get by.

“I could not bear the thought of allowing children to go hungry, so I came up with this little idea with some colleagues that quickly spiralled into something much bigger.

“I’ve been amazed by how many people have offered their support, and we’ve called businesses to get them involved. People have messaged and emailed us saying the next two weeks will be tough, they are the people we want to help.

“We want to make this something for all of Swindon to come together for in order to look after hungry kids. Then anyone who needs help can get it without being judged or worried.

“We are in the community for the community. It’s not political, it’s all about ensuring that children get fed.”

Central Swindon North Parish Council joined forces with Glinn after he contacted them asking for help.

Community health and wellbeing committee chairman James Yeowell said: “We are 100 per cent behind this and we are happy to support Glinn’s idea.”

The scheme started on Sunday and will continue throughout the next fortnight. Sandwiches and other prepared lunches are being prepared at Pinetrees Community Centre and delivered to people’s doors.

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For more information, visit the Feed All Children Swindon Facebook page.