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Too Poor To Afford Two Pairs Of Shoes

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7:01am 15th October 2014

Parts of Cornwall are revealed to have some of the highest levels of child poverty in the southwest.

Research from the Campaign to End Child Poverty shows almost a third of youngsters in north Cornwall and Camborne and Redruth are living without the essentials.

Duchy support workers say many are going to school stressed and hungry - and the effects can last a lifetime.

Don Gardener runs the foodbank covering Camborne and Redruth. He said: "The discussions in families today are about 'We haven't got enough money for next week.' Children are hearing this. Their carefree childhood is disappearing - and disappearing too soon."

Jaqui White runs foodbanks in Wadebridge, Camelford and Bodmin where she is seeing a year on year rise in users. She told Pirate FM: "When you look at everything you think, well, the children have got to have breakfast, they've got to go to school, they've got to have their food. Those are the difficult times when parents are actually thinking, 'I feed my child or I don't pay the electric bill.'

"It only needs one bill - maybe the boiler has broken down, maybe the car has broken down. They just don't have the safety net.

"Certainly because we're in Cornwall it is an area of deprivation, it is an area of low income, it is an area of seasonal work. All of those things comes into play."

David Holmes, Chair of the Campaign to End Child Poverty, said: “These figures reveal just how widely and deeply child poverty reaches into our communities, even those areas generally regarded as well off. Far too many children whose parents are struggling to make a living are suffering as a result and missing out on the essentials of a decent childhood that all young people should be entitled to. We can and must do better for our children.

“Poverty ruins childhoods and reduces life chances. Failing to invest properly in children is a false economy: already child poverty costs the UK £29bn each year and in the long run taxpayers will foot an even higher bill for correcting the damage.  

“We are calling on politicians of all parties to urgently set out a clear roadmap towards ending child poverty which includes the additional actions needed and the measures by which progress will be tracked."

Politicians pledged to eradicate child poverty by 2020, but campaigners warn current projections show numbers increasing.

7:01am 15th October 2014

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