It's no longer a case of families choosing between eating or paying the bills. Now, many families can't afford either.
But that's the reality facing millions of families across the UK today.
Our free school meals petition has been delivered to 10 Downing Street.
Thank you to over 32,000 people who signed our petition calling for free primary school meals across England. Actress Michelle Collins, alongside our CEO Lynn Perry and young people supported by Barnardo's, delivered it to the Government. Read what Jake and Dasha thought about the experience.
More than one in four children in the UK are living in poverty and the cost-of-living crisis will make this worse as families struggle to pay their bills. That's about eight children in every classroom.
Growing up in poverty means children are at risk of going cold and hungry; they miss out on opportunities; and their physical and mental health suffers - all of which can affect them long into adulthood. Half of parents have cut back on food shopping and essentials, and almost a quarter of parents (23%) have struggled to provide sufficient food due to the cost-of-living crisis.
It shouldn't be this way. No child should grow up in poverty.
That's why we're taking action right now. Our frontline staff are providing essential support for young people and families who are using our services and are struggling by delivering clothes, appliances and vouchers to help with everyday essentials like food.
We're also calling on the government to provide free school meals for all primary school children in England, as well as asking for more to be done to tackle 'holiday hunger'.
Through our influencing work, we’re standing up for every child waking up in a cold home. For every parent or carer who’s struggling to put food on the table. And for every family worried about how they’re going to pay their increased bills.
A crisis on our doorstep
The deepening impact of the cost-of-living crisis on children and young people in the UK and recommendations for action.
Our report, A crisis on our doorstep, takes a closer look at how the cost-of-living crisis is affecting children, families and young people using Barnardo’s services.
Growing up in poverty means children miss out on opportunities and their physical and mental health suffers, all of which can affect them long into adulthood. We are working urgently to get extra help to the families we support but the current situation is inacceptable. We need all governments across the UK to take action.
We are calling on governments across the UK to:
- take more targeted action to reduce child poverty
- extend the provision of free school meals
- embed preventative approaches to reduce the impact of poverty on children’s health
- strengthen social security so the poorest families can afford to replace or repair essential household items
- prioritise innovative solutions to keep children safe and warm for longer such as extending family hubs to every community and implementing a total ban on forced prepayment meter installations.
Kerry, supported by Barnardo's in Rotherham
How we're helping children in poverty
We’re delivering clothes, appliances and vouchers to young people and families who are using our services and who are struggling, to help with everyday essentials like food.
We’re working with children, young people and their families when they’re having trouble accessing food banks, or when the supplies at food banks don’t meet their needs.
Our holiday clubs are lifelines for families who rely on free school meals, providing nutritious food for children and somewhere for them to learn and have fun during the school holidays.
We're calling on the Government to introduce free school meals for all primary school children in England and do more to tackle hunger during the school holidays. In February this year we delivered our free school meals petition with over 32,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street.
Aliyah, supported by Barnardo's in Birmingham.
A head teacher's view on the cost-of-living crisis
Sarah, supported by Barnardo's Northern Ireland.
Work in partnership with us
We are calling on businesses across the UK to partner with us in addressing child poverty. Arun Estate Agencies Ltd. and their colleagues at Cubitt & West, Douglas Allen, Pittis and Wards are raising £1 million to help us provide essential support to children in South East England this winter.
Thank you for believing in children
Of every pound we spend (excluding retail costs) 92p goes on our work. 3p on governance and pension costs and 5p on raising the next £1. For full details of our spend, see our latest annual report.
Donations will be used to fund areas of our work where the need is greatest.
Names and details have been changed and models used to protect the privacy of children we help.