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Sheffield Hallam University spreads joy of Christmas with free activity packs for children

More than 100 free activity packs are to be given to children through foodbanks across the city thanks to an initiative by Sheffield Hallam University.
Each pack includes a toy and accompanying activity sheets to help entertain them over the festive period.
It follows a project in the summer, led by the University’s Widening Participation and Outreach team, who distributed 160 Book Packs through local foodbanks.
The packs are designed to be fun and engaging and include either a gem stone excavation kit or a panning for gold kit, and activities such as mazes, cracking a hieroglyphics code, a word search and make your own Egyptian headdress template.
Any unusual words that the children may not have come across before are written up with a simple definition to help expand their vocabulary.
Many of the activities were adapted from the last big public community engagement event the team ran in the Winter Gardens in February, ‘Dare to be a Detective’, where there was a whole section that was Ancient Egyptian themed.
The Widening Participation and Outreach Team are working with six foodbanks across Sheffield to help distribute the packs.
The team looked at factors such as the percentage of children from the nearest schools reaching the expected targets in reading and the percentage of young people expected to progress to higher education in order to identify which food banks to work with.
Serena Noble, Widening Participation and Outreach Coordinator said: “The book packs we distributed over the summer were so well received that I was really pleased to have the opportunity to do a follow up.  I am extremely grateful for the support of the foodbank in distributing the packs, especially at this extremely busy time.”
For press information: Contact Greg Mattocks-Evans in the Sheffield Hallam University press office email

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