19 April 2016

  |  CBI Northern Ireland


CBI dishes up a healthy start to the school day

This week, the CBI team in Northern Ireland went back to school to dish up a healthy breakfast for local children in Belfast.

CBI dishes up a healthy start to the school day

St Josephs Primary School, Slate Street is the first Breakfast Club to be set up in Northern Ireland by the Greggs Foundation and is supported by CBI Northern Ireland. Today the CBI team went along to meet some of the children and parents who are benefitting.

Commenting at the opening of the Club, Nigel Smyth, CBI Northern Ireland `Director said:

“We have long supported and campaigned for a more integrated partnership between business and schools, so that children receive the best start in life. Supporting our young children in the early stages of education is vital to ensure they can achieve their potential. Today, we put that into practice and get down to the basics.

“Studies have shown that breakfast helps improve mental performance and concentration during morning activities. Children who skip breakfast are more sluggish, less attentive, and have less energy to carry out their morning tasks.

“We are delighted to be supporting St Joseph’s Primary School, Slate Street in partnership with the Greggs Foundation, who will help to facilitate the running of the club with our financial assistance.

“More than 70 children will benefit from the Slate Street Breakfast Club – and we hope, with time, more businesses will follow suit and develop similar partnerships in their local areas.”

Mairead Weir, Principal of St Joseph’s Primary School said:

 “The success of our breakfast club is clearly due to the support and assistance, we have received from the Greggs Foundation and the CBI; and the great partnership we have nurtured with our parents, who work voluntarily every morning to provide the service. 

“Attending Breakfast Club is a great opportunity for our children to socialise with friends before the start of the school day and have something healthy to eat before lessons commence. Our children are encouraged to take an active part in the club - helping set up the service, clear away and be a buddy to the younger children.

“We have already seen evidence of the positive benefits of attending breakfast club:

  • punctuality has already increased by 37%
  • our teachers have reported that children are better prepared for the school day.
  • some of our parents have told us that the breakfast club has helped family finances and helped relieve the morning stress as children are quicker to get up in the morning and out to school as they are excited to see friends.
  • our children have also had the opportunity to see the eating habits of their peers and this has encouraged them to try new foods. 

“Staff, parents and children can be found every morning sitting together to eat, chat and develop closer relationships. This is especially important for our children and parents who speak English as a second language, as they now have the opportunity to develop their language, meet new friends and integrate with the wider community. Every member of our ‘Parent English as a Second Language’ Class has volunteered to work in the club!”

Lynne Hindmarch, Breakfast Club Manager, Greggs Foundation added:

“From its humble beginnings as a single club supported by Greggs in the North East of England, to a national programme which today comprises nearly 400 clubs. The Greggs Foundation’s Breakfast Club Programme offers responsible businesses and organisations a great opportunity to make a difference to the local communities in which they operate.  Its success is largely due to the support that we receive from organisations such as the CBI and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support, which will help to provide the children of St Joseph’s Primary School Slate Street with a healthy start to the day.”  

Notes to Editor

Across the UK, the CBI speaks on behalf of 190,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors which together employ nearly 7 million people, about one third of the private sector-employed workforce.

With offices in the UK as well as representation in Brussels, Washington, Beijing and Delhi, the CBI communicates the British business voice around the world.

The CBI in Northern Ireland represents around 1/3 of the private sector workforce, and more than 60% of the largest employers in Northern Ireland. It is the leading business organisation influencing the policies of the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly.

St. Joseph's P.S Slate Street is located just off the Grosvenor Road in West Belfast. They have a very committed staff who provide high quality teaching experiences to children daily. The school is placed at the centre of the community, providing structure, help and support to all of our families.

The Greggs Foundation is a registered charity based in Newcastle Upon Tyne and is closely associated with Greggs plc. The Greggs Foundation is a grant making trust, distributing over £1million per year to charitable organisations throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

The Greggs Breakfast Club Programme was established in 1999 to help primary school children get a nutritious start to their school day. Every school is provided with fresh bread from their nearest Greggs shop, and a grant to support start-up and ongoing costs. The average club costs just £2,000 to set up and run for a year and is funded through partnership with local business organisations. www.greggsfoundation.org.uk

Caption: Pictured is Nigel Smyth, director and Louise Hubbard, regional executive enjoying a healthy breakfast with a few of the 100 children who took part.

Media Enquiries

Anthea Savage, Communications & Events Executive, CBI Northern Ireland. DL: 028 9010 1117; M: 07772491506; E: anthea.savage@cbi.org.uk

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