Cost of living crisis: children in Yorkshire giving up their pocket money to help Mum and Dad pay for Christmas

Three in ten children in Yorkshire and the Humber are giving up their pocket money to help their parents pay for Christmas, a charity has said.
Children are giving up their pocket money to help their parents pay for Christmas presentsChildren are giving up their pocket money to help their parents pay for Christmas presents
Children are giving up their pocket money to help their parents pay for Christmas presents

And a fifth (21 per cent) of parents surveyed said they’re worried they won’t be able to afford any Christmas presents.

Action for Children undertook the research to highlight how the cost of living crisis is affecting families across the region.

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It found almost all (98 per cent) of region’s working parents have worried about money in past six months, more than half (57 per cent) having worried often – resulting in trouble sleeping, worse mental health, getting upset and losing their temper with their children.

The charity’s normal remit is delivering support for vulnerable children, but staff have found themselves increasingly having to step in to support families in poverty, the charity said.

Melanie Armstrong, chief executive of Action for Children, said: "For most of us the festive season is a happy time, yet as our shocking research shows there will be children all across Yorkshire and Humber who face a very different Christmas this year.

‘Instead of enjoying a safe and happy time, many children in the region will wake up on Christmas morning to no presents, food or warmth.

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“Every day our frontline workers are helping families keep their heads above water, making sure they have the basics like hot meals and proper winter clothes, as well as offering emergency support to keep homes warm and help families pay the bills.”

Issues highlighted by the charity’s frontline workers included a family having to pawn all their electricals to buy food for their children and a child who sleeps on a pile of blankets as their parents can’t afford a bed.

One Action for Chilsren worker asked a young girl if there was anything she would like from Santa this year, to which she replied: “I’m not asking for anything and I’m not writing it down on paper (then nodded towards her mum) because she would get too sad.”

The charity has launched a Secret Santa campaign where people can donate the money for toys, books and warm winter clothes via its website.

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Melanie Armstrong said: “In yet another year when children and families have been pushed deeper into crisis, supporting them is more important than ever.

"Until every family can keep their child warm and well fed, we’ll be there to help them – that’s why we’re asking people to donate to help us make a life-changing difference to vulnerable children this Christmas and beyond.”

It comes as analysis from the York based Joseph Rowntree Foundation revealed a fifth of all low-income households – 2.5 million – are going without food and heating.

The social change organisation also found that many families are already in arrears on their bills, owing more than £1,600 on average, and around 2.4 million households have borrowed money or used credit to afford their bills so far this year as the cost of living crisis continues to grip.

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