Charity launches first appeal on child poverty in UK

A major charity has launched its first-ever appeal designed to help tackle child poverty in the UK. To accompany the appeal launch, Save the Children published a report highlighting children's – as well as parents’ – experiences of living in recession-hit Britain, and the extent to which poverty is blighting young lives.

Key points

  • An estimated 3.5 million children live in poverty in the UK: but this 'shocking' figure is expected to rise by 400,000 by 2015.
  • A lack of jobs, stagnating wages, increased living costs and public spending cuts are placing 'enormous pressure' on families.
  • One in ten of the poorest parents have cut back on food for themselves in order to ensure their children have enough to eat. Even so, one in eight of the poorest children go without at least one hot meal a day.
  • Poverty means children miss out on experiences that are central to a happy childhood, such as going on a family holiday or having a friend round for tea.
  • Poverty can also mean children don’t have a quiet space to do their homework or access the resources they need to learn at home, such as the internet.

The Centre for Social Justice think tank criticised the move, saying child poverty will not be tackled by 'throwing a few extra pounds at families living below a so-called’ poverty line'. The Daily Mail called it an 'obscene political stunt'.

Source: Graham Whitham, Child Poverty in 2012: It Shouldn’t Happen Here, Save the Children
Links: Report | Save the Children press release | Centre for Social Justice press release | BBC report | Daily Mail report | Guardian report (1) | Guardian report (2) | Telegraph report