Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Charity to help poor UK youngsters

A charity that works with saving starving children overseas has launched a fund to help youngsters in the UK

A major British-based charity has launched its first campaign to help children in the UK.

Save the Children said Britain's poorest youngsters were bearing the greatest burden of the recession - having their parents go hungry to feed them, missing regular hot meals, unable to afford warm coats and new shoes and suffering enormous emotional strain.

It is aiming to raise £500,000 to help its work in the UK, targeting the poorest children - the first time it has appealed to the UK public for funds to help children at home.

Chief executive Justin Forsyth said: "No child should see their parent going hungry or start the new term without a warm coat and with holes in their shoes. Poverty is tearing families apart, with parents buckling under the pressure of mounting bills and children seeing their parents argue more about money.

"Given that most children living in poverty have at least one parent in work, it is appalling that those parents can't earn enough to give themselves and their kids a decent life. All working parents should be able to earn enough to meet the basic needs of their children."

In a new report, It Shouldn't Happen Here, the charity, which works in 120 countries, highlights the experiences of children - and parents - living in recession-hit Britain and the extent to which poverty is blighting young lives.

One in eight of the poorest children in the UK go without at least one hot meal a day, and one in 10 of the poorest parents have cut back on food for themselves to make sure their children have enough to eat, the report says.

The survey finds that children worry about their family not having enough money, with more than half of those living in poverty saying the lack of cash made their parents unhappy or stressed. Almost a quarter of the poorest parents say they are arguing more or snap at their children because of their money troubles.

One in seven of the poorest children say they have to go without a warm winter coat and new shoes when they need them. And nearly a fifth of children living in poverty say they miss out on school trips because their parents have not got the money. Four fifths of parents (80%) said they were borrowing more money for essentials such as food and clothes.

Visit www.savethechildren.org.uk/ukpoverty to find out more or donate.

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