Two thirds of supported children are not looking forward to Christmas

Children living in poverty have highlighted the extreme difficulties winter will bring for them, including feelings of deprivation, isolation, loneliness and shame, hunger and jealousy of other children’s experiences.

While many children across the country are excitedly writing lists for Santa Claus filled with gifts they are hoping for, many children in poverty do not expect presents, and for those who do, there is a stark contrast between the national average of the Spending on children (£ 130) compared to what is spent on children in poverty this time of year (£ 21.79).

The study, which surveyed charities with 84,000 disadvantaged children aged 4 to 18 years old, found that more than 2/3 of the children supported by charities don’t look forward to the “festive” season at all and it is for a difficult time of the Hold year. Reasons include experiences of poverty (89%), anxiety (74%), stress (65%), feelings of isolation (58%), parents or caregivers with physical or mental health problems (53%) who live in temporary accommodation (53%) . 53%), food insecurity (46%), boredom (46%), few gifts received (44%), fuel poverty (33%), young caregivers (33%), domestic violence (31%), alcoholism or substance abuse (31%) ) and lack of adequate winter clothing (28%).

The Childhood Trust plans to raise £ 3 million in a week (December 1st to 8th) through the Christmas Challenge fundraiser, which will help over 80,000 poverty-stricken children in London this Christmas. This campaign aims to fund the implementation of 85 projects across London that provide a comprehensive program of much-needed services to meet the practical and emotional needs of more than 80,000 vulnerable and disadvantaged children this Christmas and throughout 2021 .

Fuel poverty

33% of children supported by charities do not look forward to Christmas because their families cannot afford to heat their homes.

During the Christmas season, a combination of colder temperatures and time at home worsens the effects of fuel starvation significantly. This has a devastating effect on children, both physically, mentally and emotionally. Children are twice as likely to have breathing problems (like asthma) when they are fuel-poor. It is also associated with slower development progress and can also have a number of indirect effects such as: B. Lower educational attainment levels and a burden on young people’s mental health. People with fuel poverty often lead to limits on energy use, resulting in cold, dark and unsafe homes, while other households may need to cut back on other expenses (e.g. on groceries) to continue another cycle of poverty this Christmas.

Food poverty

43% of children supported by partner charities experience some form of food poverty over the Christmas period

Many children do not have access to free school meals over Christmas, which leads to holiday hunger. Since many charities are partially closed during the Christmas break, another safety net for disadvantaged children is being removed. Food banks tend to add to the lack of services, and while the government’s new £ 170 million Covid Winter Grant program is welcomed, previous pilots have shown grants in London, where only three London boroughs this summer for holiday meals received, tens of thousands of children are highly unlikely.

Other critical issues disclosed in the report are deprivation of equipment and temporary housing.

Laurence Guinness, CEO of The Children’s Trust, said: “We are deeply concerned about the growing number of children forced into poverty by the coronavirus pandemic. The level of inequality has worsened significantly this year due to the economic and psychological impact of the pandemic and the measures taken to contain it. While Christmas is a joyful time for many, the experiences of poverty and poverty for disadvantaged and vulnerable children are much worse during this time. It is therefore important that we provide immediate assistance to as many children in need as possible. ”

Nazia Rashid, a family support officer, said: “We work with a number of families and children who have lost one parent and this creates real tension. Without access to the help and support funded through such campaigns, I don’t know where these children would be. “

The Child 12 page of the Childhood Trust “Child poverty, coronavirus and Christmas” The report was conducted with nearly 40 charities serving children in all London boroughs, serving a total of 84,000 disadvantaged children ages 4 to 18. The data is based on the children’s personal experience as well as the charity’s knowledge of the children’s and their families’ Christmas experiences.

The Christmas Challenge campaign is a coordinated donation campaign in which the donations of individual donors are doubled via an online portal from our partner The Big Give. The Matched Fund consists of the Childhood Trust Fund (25%) and the pawn fund of the main donors of each charity (25%). This creates 50% of each charity’s target fund. The other 50% of the goal will be collected from existing and new supporters of the charity through a website made available to each charity.

Donations can be made here:

In June the Childhood Trust raised £ 3,655,349 for vulnerable and disadvantaged children through its Champions for Children campaign, which funds a network of 94 charities to provide practical and emotional support to over 200,000 disadvantaged children in London. More than a third of these projects would have been completed by now without funds from the Childhood Trusts campaign.


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