Column by Councillor Sarah Russell, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

November is the month of remembrance, when we as a nation pay homage to all those who suffered or lost their lives during war time.

Since 1954 it has also been Universal Children’s Day which takes place on 20th November, every year, as a global tribute to tomorrow’s future and recognition of how precious and vital young lives are.

Its purpose is to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of children globally.

At Derby City Council, we take the welfare and safeguarding of children and young people very seriously. We want them to grow up strong, happy and healthy and sometimes it is our smallest actions make the greatest difference.

This year nearly 400 pupils across our city will benefit from a new Breakfast of Champions food scheme launched this autumn.

It recognises that eating a healthy breakfast is vital to the mental and physical development of children. Sadly not all our children are getting their early morning brain fuel.

There are many reasons for this – from families not being able to afford food, not having the time or failing to realise the importance of the first meal of the day.

Studies have shown that those who skip breakfast find it harder to participate in classroom activities or socialise because they are too tired and out of steam.

In partnership with local organisations and businesses, we are ensuring that all schools enlisted on the Breakfast of Champions scheme are providing a nutritious bowl of cereal to their pupils to help them improve their educational attainment and boost social inclusion.

The scheme so far is time-limited but if we can get more sponsors on board, we can extend this to more schools year-on-year so even more young people are supported by the Breakfast of Champions.

If you’d like to contribute to this worthwhile cause please see our Just Giving Page.