7 May 2014

Brian Cox see a larger version of Brian and me. and Matthew Reed, our Chief Executive, smiling for the cameraActor Brian Cox is backing a new campaign to lift the lid on the devastating impact debt can have on children.

The star of X-Men 2, The Bourne Supremacy and Rushmore experienced poverty and debt firsthand as a child. He said he was supporting The Children’s Society’s campaign, The Debt Trap, because the struggle families were going through to feed their children was 'unbelievable and shameful'.

New report reveals debt's damaging effects on children

His comments came as a new report by The Children’s Society and StepChange Debt Charity showed problem debt is putting stress on family relationships, damaging children and trapping families in a downward spiral of borrowing.

Two and a half million children live in families with problem debt, who are behind on £4.8 billion of household bills and loan repayments. A further five million children are in families that are struggling to keep up with repayments and risk falling behind.

This new report for the first time lifts the lid on the devastating impact debt can have on children. Their findings show that children are suffering worry and anxiety, bullying and going without essentials as their families are trapped in problem debt.

'It's unbelievable that chidren are exposed to such poverty'

Brian Cox said: 'My father died when I was eight leaving only ten pounds in the bank. My mother had a nervous breakdown as we spiralled into a life of poverty and debt. That’s why I’m supporting The Dept Trap report, because it’s unbelievable and shameful that children today are being exposed to such a level of poverty that families are getting into debt to put food into children’s mouths.

'And it’s not just physical, it’s a psychological disease that can be even more damaging causing anxiety and stress, it’s something that will stay with children all their lives. It doesn’t matter how successful you become, it’s scar, a mark that never leaves you.'

Watch Brian's video with our chief executive

Matthew Reed, our Chief Executive, interviewed Brian Cox about his past and why he chose to endorse our campaign.

Please watch their interview.