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Coping in a cost of living crisis

Naomi was just 16 when she started to live on her own. She always had just enough to make ends meet, until the cost of living crisis made things even harder. She was now struggling to get by, and was really scared. Today, with the help of The Children’s Society she’s able to manage her expenses and focus on the future. She tells us her story, and how her support worker helped to turn things around.

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Barely getting by

A teenager with medium skin and long curly brown hair is looking out of a window with a sad expression

Barely getting by

When I moved out at 16, things were really tough. I had to figure lots of things out for myself. I was able to make ends meet, but it was very tiring.

When the cost of living crisis hit in 2022, it made everything so much harder. Suddenly, managing all my expenses was impossible. I felt suffocated with the stress, and was panicking about how I was going to make it through each month.

Seeking support

I decided to speak to Tina, my support worker at The Children’s Society, about what I was going through. At first, I felt really embarrassed about asking for help. I had wanted to prove to myself that I could do this on my own. I didn’t want to depend on other people. 

But Tina showed me that asking for help takes a lot of courage. She told me stories of when she’d needed help, and how receiving it only made her stronger.

Seeking support

Nobody ever wants to admit their struggles, but everyone needs to at some point. Nobody ever wants to admit their struggles, but everyone needs to at some point.

A teenager's hands are in the foreground, with an adult with a clipboard talking to them in the background.

Giving hope

Tina told me about Give Hope, a pot of money that young people can apply to for things they need. This felt like a dream come true, and like I could finally get my life back on track. I applied for a supermarket gift voucher and used it to feed myself for a month. It helped me make ends meet and get through a really difficult time in my life.

young boy looking in mirror cheeky smile

End child poverty

We're campaigning to make sure all children can feel healthy, happy and hopeful, even when money is tight.

A weight lifted off

How Tina spoke to me really influenced what the experience was like. It was like the bad feelings I was having about myself disappeared.

I no longer felt shame about seeking support, and I was reassured to have people like Tina and The Children’s Society who would help me through anything. 

I’m really grateful that my problem was resolved, but I want others to know that change is needed, now. The sad part is, if it wasn’t for all the financial increases in the UK, I wouldn’t have needed that voucher. No one should have to choose between keeping warm and keeping a roof over their head, and yet I was faced with that choice. There are young people like myself that do not have a choice whether to live alone and unfortunately, I have not felt seen. 

I am keeping optimistic that change will come soon, it needs to. I cannot continue life this way, we cannot continue life this way.

A weight lifted off

Naomi is just one of over 60,000 young people we worked with in 2022/23. Our Impact Summary and Annual Report showcases the amazing work done by our practitioners — as well as our colleagues working for policy change — and our progress towards our 2030 goal of overturning the damaging decline in children’s wellbeing. This includes work like our #ProtectEveryChildhood campaign, that’s been successfully supporting children through the cost of living crisis. Read more about our achievements, impact, and future goals in the report.