Posted: 21 December 2015

Wrapping up the successes of 2015

Christmas is a time for reflection, and as we celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, we thought we’d share 12 amazing things we achieved together in 2015.

  1. One huge reversal of planned tax credit cuts

    A teenage girl looks up from her iPad looking scaredIn November the Chancellor made major changes to his planned tax credit cuts for working families. We worked with members of the House of Lords to urge the Government to rethink its damaging approach to tax credit changes. Children would have been the biggest losers had these deeply unfair cuts gone ahead, so this change is an incredible victory.

  2. Two and a half hour debate in parliament on sexual exploitation of 16 and 17 year olds

    Image of parliament

    Because of their awkward age, 16 and 17 year olds are too often not recognised as victims of child sexual exploitation, so they don’t get the help they need or the justice they deserve. With MPs, we secured a debate on this important issue in parliament. This was a rare and invaluable opportunity to build momentum and urge the Government to strengthen the law so that all 16 and 17 year olds being sexually exploited are better protected.

  3. £375 million saved for families through clamp down on school uniform costs

    A teenage boy looks sad

    This autumn the Chancellor decided to put  the current school uniform guidance on a statutory footing, which will save £375 million for families. Our report The Wrong Blazer showed how high and unfair uniform costs lead to children going to school in incorrect, unclean, or poorly fitting uniforms. Through sustained engagement with the Department for Education and the Competition and Markets Authority we made the case for stronger guidance so school uniform policies do not unfairly penalise families in poverty.

  4. Four of the six big energy companies have shown some warmth to families in energy debt

    Our campaigns team present a final notice to energy companies

    Over 6,000 people signed our petition calling on energy companies to stop using damaging debt practices, which leave family homes cold and harm children’s and parents’ health. We presented the petition to the big six energy companies in the form of huge ‘Final Notice’ envelopes. Four of the ‘Big 6’ providers have now gone on to change their policies.

  5. Five more years of the Warm Home Discount

    A child sits on a sofa looking sad

    The Warm Home Discount is designed to help low income families struggling with their fuel bills by providing £140 discount – enough to heat the average family’s home for more than a month. Thanks to our evidence and campaigning, the Government has guaranteed funding for the Warm Home Discount for the rest of this parliament until 2020.

  6. Six local councils are reviewing damaging council tax debt collection practice

    A girl opens the door

    Our hard-hitting report The Wolf at the Door revealed how children and teenagers feel scared and worried after coming face-to-face with bailiffs in their own homes, sent by the council to demand sudden and unrealistic debt repayments. We called on councils to stop sending bailiffs to homes with children and teenagers, and to use less damaging debt collection methods. Our campaigners wrote to over 2,000 councillors and now six councils are in the process of making important changes.

  7. £74m extra funding awarded to councils to provide vital support for families and vulnerable residents

    A young boy at a table looking sad

    In December 2013 the Government planned to remove dedicated funding for local welfare assistance which is a vital safety net for families to turn to in an emergency. Thousands of you came together to support our campaign, A Cut Too Far. Thanks to your critical support the Government reinstated £130 million of funding for local welfare assistance, which included an additional £74 million in 2015-16 to enable local authorities to put effective schemes in place.

  8. 80% of responses to the Government consultation on asylum support were in support of our campaign

    A young boy stares intently at the camera

    This autumn we led on the campaign against the Government’s plans to scrap asylum support for families fleeing war and persecution.  Over 650 of our supporters emailed the Government telling them to rethink their plans, which means that nearly 80% of all people who responded to the consultation were our supporters – thank you to everyone who joined our campaign to protect all children, no matter where they’re from.

  9. 900 people have lobbied a Lord to end child poverty

    Teenage boy in a hoodie looking sad

    The Government wants to stop reporting on child poverty and instead focus on how well children do in their GCSEs and whether their parents have a job or not. These are important issues, but by excluding income measures, they are brushing 2.4 million children living in poverty in working families under the carpet. So far an incredible 900 people have lobbied a Lord to support the End Child Poverty campaign, which we’re part of, to tell the Government that money matters, and we need to make sure families have enough.

  10. Ten local councils in Greater Manchester are reviewing their support for children in care who are placed out of area

    A box of possesions

    Our Handle with Care campaign called on Greater Manchester councils to ensure that when children and young people in care are placed out of their local area, they get the support they need to settle and thrive. In partnership with young people we came up with some recommended steps that all local councils should take to improve support and ensure every time a child in care is moved they are handled with care. Nearly 2,500 people signed our petition and we’ve been working with the ten local councils who are reviewing their support in line with our recommendations.

  11. Eleven thousand people have joined our Seriously Awkward campaign to protect older teenagers

    A young blonde teenage girl looks at the camera

    Since its launch in June our Seriously Awkward campaign has gone from strength to strength – so far over 11,000 people have signed our petition calling on the Government to change the law to protect 16 and 17 year olds from harm, abuse and neglect. We’ve been plugging away to get this issue at the top of the Government’s agenda and we’re making great progress– raising awareness with MPs at party conferences and even getting a supportive mention from Theresa May at Home Office questions.

  12. Twelve teenagers from our services ran their own youth-led campaigns in Greater Manchester and London

    A teenage boy and girl look serious

    This spring our ‘Create a Change’ project empowered twelve teenagers from our services to run their own youth-led campaigns to tackle a social problem in their communities. Our Manchester group focused on safety online and in the city centre, while the London group campaigned to improve support and advice available for young people aged 14-18 in school. Both campaigns had good outcomes and helped young people to become confident campaigners.

We can’t achieve successes like these without money to run our campaigns. Can you spare a donation today to help us achieve even more in 2016?

 

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By Angharad Lewis - Campaigns team
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