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Supporting children and young people in times of uncertainty

Currently, many children and young people across the UK are facing continued uncertainty and challenge. The rising cost of living, the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic alongside existing issues are creating complex difficulties for children, young people and their families.  Many are facing the difficulty of living in households struggling to cope and are affected by financial challenges and crisis situations that are affecting their emotional wellbeing and pushing them into poverty or deepening existing poverty.

Local charities and projects including those providing youth work, counselling, domestic abuse refuge and family and early years support, are reporting rising needs and increased complexity of issues facing children and young people.  50% of professionals working with children and families have reported a rise in the last 18 months of the number of children and families requesting help with parental mental ill-health, or domestic violence and addiction problems within the home. [1] (2021)

According to government statistics, 4.3 million children in the UK (31%) are affected by poverty. In addition to current challenges, poverty is predicted to rise in communities across the UK – it is projected that 5.2-5.3 million children will be in relative poverty by 2023/24 – meaning more children and young people will be navigating the personal and emotional impact of living without enough.

Rising food insecurity means that the need for food banks across the UK continues and there is persistent concern for holiday hunger. On top of that, rising fuel costs mean that many families will struggle to heat their homes, which can affect emotional and physical wellbeing and create associated health risks.

Poverty and crisis can be stigmatising and stressful, not being able to access basic necessities and manage in uncertain situations is worrying and can have an adverse impact on children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health, their educational attainment and their later lives.

But thankfully, your donations have been making a difference. BBC Children in Need is currently funding nearly 1,100 local charities and projects that support children and young people affected by poverty and crisis across the UK, to a value of £56.3 million. This includes a range of projects supporting children and young people that build resilience, improve emotional and physical wellbeing and strengthen their confidence.

 

[1] House of Lords Children in Crisis November 2021

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