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Metamorphosis - Story of Change

Holiday Hunger

In Portsmouth Diocese, Mothers’ Union has equipped itself through Metamorphosis. Many local initiatives were birthed through this process and two participants were recently part of the facilitation team of our online course. There are numerous stories of change, but one of the earliest ones was the development of the Holiday Hunger initiative in Gosport.

Elizabeth, Karen and Carole have been part of the Metamorphosis group in Portsmouth Diocese and they have worked together to set up a programme to address the issue of holiday hunger in Gosport. This was not a new idea for retired school cook Elizabeth, but it took Metamorphosis for her to overcome her fear of the idea being laughed down and to actually get a team around her to bring this dream to reality.

Elizabeth and Carole both had connections with a local primary school, which they used to gather support from the Head Teacher. Within a month, dates had been set and letters sent out to those receiving free school meals to invite them to two fun days (one each week in the Christmas 2019 holidays). Elizabeth then started designing the menu - ‘As a retired school cook I thought I knew what children liked, but having learnt from metamorphosis about the importance of listening to others, I thought I would talk to the school cook to learn from them. I was amazed at how children’s tastes have changed.’

The first 2 holiday fun days went well with Karen dressing up as ‘Mother Christmas’, stories, board games, a good meal, snacks and other fun activities. Karen, Carole and Elizabeth really enjoyed building relationships with the Mums, all of whom were struggling financially to feed themselves and their children. As relationships built, the Mums asked if they could meet regularly and after Christmas they started meeting every week. By the February half term holidays, the group participating in this initiative had expanded to 20.

The pandemic has paused the formal initiative but Karen, Carole and Elizabeth have kept in touch with the Mums and Carole provided materials to keep the children occupied and happy during lockdown.

 ‘I have gone from feeling I can’t do anything to realising that although my ‘stone’ is small, it is creating ripples as I use my skills to help others.’ (Karen).