Hundreds turn out for Family Food Day funded by Chiefs Foundation
By Marc Astley
More than 800 pupils, parents and staff turned out for a family food and fun day in the grounds of Wynstream School in Burnthouse Lane, Exeter.
Michael Caines MBE and Sandy Park head chef Craig Beacham dished up meals including pasta salad, baked potatoes and carrot cake.
They were helped by their teams from the rugby club, Lympstone Manor and Exeter College.
The event was funded by the Exeter Chiefs Foundation with money the charity’s trustees had ringfenced to pay for Christmas lunches in 2022.
Chairman, Tony Rowe, CBE explained: “Despite feeding 1,000 people over the festive period, we had some cash left in the pot and we were keen to do something at the heart of a community. We approached Wynstream School headteacher Elise Redman and she jumped at the opportunity.”
Ms Redman and her staff worked closely with the Foundation trustees to coordinate what was the largest community gathering in the Wonford area in recent history.
She said: “This community has been disproportionately impacted over the past few years as has the school. Food poverty is very real here, so this event was a great opportunity to share fresh, quality meals.”
Michael Caines, who is also a trustee of the Exeter Chiefs Foundation, said: “I have always championed charities which help to improve the lives of the people in our community.
“My team and I were delighted to be involved in this fun event with the Exeter Chiefs and we will be planning more like this in the future.”
As well as Chiefs organising rugby activities, players Josh Hodge, Frankie Nowell and Elliot Young signed autographs and posed for pictures.
Chloe Foster, a parent of two children at the school, Elsie, six, and Isla, 7, said they’d had a great time.
She added: “It was fabulous to see the whole community turn out and enjoy themselves. We all had a wonderful afternoon.
“The food was delicious, the weather was perfect and we even had a bouncy castle which enabled the kids to burn off some energy before we got home!”
Another parent, who asked not to be named, summed up the day by saying: “Events like this don’t normally happen to schools like ours.”