Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Through Young Eyes: Three Million Children in Poverty

In the UK today, three million children are living (read: surviving) below the poverty line. 4,584 of these children live in the same parliamentary constituency as me (Stockport), and make up 24% of the total child population of the constituency (according to these 2012 figures). These figures are now two years out of date, and it is safe to assume that the situation has worsened since then.


The Children’s Commission on Poverty was set up by The Children’s Society last year to give a voice to the children and young people living in poverty. As is far too often the way, those who truly need it, are the ones denied the voice. Politicians discuss solutions without ever talking to those affected by the problems. The Children’s Commission aims to end that. A team of 15 young people are leading an 18 month investigation into what life is really like for those three million children. The Commission exists to bridge the gap between the decision makers, and the children whose futures are being decided in Parliament.

Growing up in poverty has a detrimental effect on the future of young people. Children living below the poverty line are:
  • less likely to go to further education
  • more likely to live in poor quality housing
  • more likely to experience social exclusion
  • likely to suffer poorer physical health
  • more likely to suffer from mental health problems
  • more likely to be victims of bullying

Financial worries do not just affect adults and parents, children are also losing sleep and suffering ill health as a result of financial insecurities. The Children’s Commission has found that children living in poverty are not only aware of the financial problems faced by their families, but are very worried about it.

These children are not often given a voice. They are not seen on the news discussing how cuts and falling pay has affected their families, and they are not receiving the column inches they deserve to share their story. The Children’s Commission was launched last year, and has already heard from thousands of children about their experiences of poverty.

At the end of the investigation, a final report will be released detailings the findings of the project. The Children’s Commission is not only looking to understand life for children living in poverty, but also how this can be turned into meaningful action. The Children’s Commission wants to put these three million children in touch with politicians, in touch with the media, and in touch with the campaigners and policy-influencers who fight on their behalf

The Children’s Commission wants to hear from you. Are you one of the three million children, or one of their parents struggling to make ends meet? Do you work with children affected by poverty? The Children’s Commission wants to hear your story, and to make sure other people hear it too. You can contact the Children’s Commission here to help them see poverty through young eyes.

9 comments:

  1. That is so shocking. Just awful :( Thanks for making me aware x

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  2. Bloody hell, 24% of all the children in your constituency?!! That's horrific. Well done for highlighting such an important issue. It certainly makes you think doesn't it?

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  3. That's awful. It really does make you think, and be more grateful for all we have x

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  4. It's just awful that this is happening, everyone should be entitled to a certain quality of life and all children should be able to just enjoy their lives x

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  5. thats a horrifying statistic..thanks for highlighting x

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  6. Wow, it's all too easy to get caught up in your own problems to realise that so many are suffering, and right on our doorstep too. What an important task they are carrying out, and I hope it makes a difference!

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  7. I can definitely see how children's experiences of poverty are overlooked. Children generally aren't given much of a voice. It's great that this campaign seeks to change that.

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  8. This is such a sad and shocking statistic, especially seeing such a vulnerable part of our community being overlooked. Such and important message, thanks for sharing. x

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  9. A great post highlighting an imprtant issue. When I was a student and first graduated I worked in schools in Manchester, Stockport and Salford. I saw real hunger in so many children. I'm glad that they are asking for their views and will share this link with my local Pembrokeshire Action to Combat Poverty Charity who see children living in poveryy every day. Thanks x

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