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The children facing a Christmas in poverty in the south-west

The children facing a Christmas in poverty in the south-west

Published by Emma Carton at 8:24am 10th December 2019. (Updated at 11:31am 10th December 2019)

Some Cornish families are having to put their children to bed early because they cannot afford to heat their homes.

Figures show 72,000 under-10s in the south west are facing Christmas with no warmth or fresh food.

Action for Children says the number going without the basics works out to three pupils in EVERY primary school class.

The charity says with no free school meals available during the holidays, many families are being left worse-off.

It warns that at least 50 of its services across the UK have provided foodbank support over the last year.

In fact Action for Children says the situation is so dire, it is planning to host unofficial foodbanks over this festive season.

What does Action for Children say?

"No parent in the South West should have to face the awful prospect of their youngster sitting in the cold without a plate of food to eat at the end of a school day, or skip dinner themselves so their child has a meal. 

"Politicians are telling us austerity has ended but every day at Action for Children our frontline services say child poverty levels are at the worst they can remember. 

"While some families will spend the Christmas holidays putting their children to bed early to keep warm because they can't afford to heat the house, for others it has become the norm to not have a winter coat, rely on foodbanks, or for their children to miss out on hot meals.

"The next Government must deliver ambitious policies to end child poverty and bring in a National Childhood Strategy to give all our children a safe and happy childhood. But until every family has enough money to keep their child warm and well fed, we will continue to help them. That's why we’re asking the public to get behind our Secret Santa campaign to help us support our most vulnerable children, not just at Christmas but every day".

John Egan, Action for Children

How can I help?

Action for Children is launching its annual campaign to help children living in poverty.

It is urging people to become a 'Secret Santa' to support vulnerable youngsters.

Anyone who can help is being asked to donate to the campaign by texting CHILD to 70607.

You can read more about becoming a 'Secret Santa' here.

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