Posted: 21 July 2020

Looking beyond food vouchers, child poverty is on the up

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on businesses and families across the country. It is forecasted that around half of UK businesses expect the coronavirus crisis will force them to lay off employees.

This increase in unemployment means more and more families will struggle to support themselves and their children. With low-income households being hit the worst, child poverty is on the rise.

How many young people are living in poverty?

Boris Johnson recently claimed child poverty had fallen despite statistics showing a distinct rise under the Conservative government. Figures released in March suggest the total number grew by 100,000 last year, which means 30% of children in the UK are living in poverty.

4.2 million young people in the UK are in poverty

We know that growing up in poverty can damage children’s well-being and their life chances. This is incredibly concerning for the future of young people and society as a whole. 

Free meals aren't the only answer

People on low income or zero-hours contracts are being hit the hardest by lockdown. These parents are struggle to pay bills and vulnerable children are finding it difficult to access the help they need.

With schools closed these families may need to turn again to food banks, joined by families who are earning less under lockdown. But food banks have been hit by shortages and many are running low on essentials.

Manchester United footballer, Marcus Rashford’s campaign helped secure food vouchers worth £15 a week for disadvantaged children over the summer and showed we can make the government listen if we speak out. However, we need to do more.

Our Strengthening the Safety Net campaign wants every local council adequately funds emergency support for families to ensure no-one is left with nowhere to turn at a time of crisis, especially during these uncertain times.

Providing our services

Tackling child poverty is at the forefront of what we do. As well as campaigning, we are constantly looking at new ways to help the four million children affected by poverty.

As the numbers of those living in poverty rises so does the number of families relying on our vital services, such as therapeutic support, befriending, counselling or advice. Fortunately, we are still able to provide it over the phone or online as a replacement for face-to-face sessions.

‘She helped me with confidence and also she made me feel like I was important.’

We will continue to support children in crisis, but we want to live in a world where no child has to reach crisis point. We need your help to ensure that every local council adequately funds emergency support for families to ensure no-one is left with nowhere to turn at a time of crisis.

Sign our petition to ensure emergency support is available for families in need.


By Edward Herbert

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