Poverty scars British children for life

Analysis of local authority data in Britain has revealed that 1.6 million children and young people live in severe poverty. In the London Borough of Tower Hamlets 27% of children live in extreme poverty, the highest proportion in the country.

Commenting on these findings, Dr Rosemary Keenan, Chief Executive of the Catholic Children’s Society said: “From our experience of working with poor families in Tower Hamlets we know that daily life for many is a tremendous struggle. Just to make ends meet mothers had already pawned any jewellery they may have had and have run up expenses by buying clothes from catalogues,  because they cannot afford to pay cash up front for their children’s clothes. Increasingly the second hand shops are where they purchase children’s clothes and school uniforms.”

This winter we have seen parents wearing inadequate clothing, including flip flops because they are unable to afford clothes and new shoes for themselves and spending time in the local library because they cannot afford to heat their home for more than the one hour before their children go to bed.”

The Catholic Children's Society (Westminster) was established in 1859 and provides child care services to assist children and families in need, irrespective of race or faith, in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster. With over 150 years of experience the Society helps children and families from all  cultural, ethnic and religious backgrounds who have found themselves in domestic, relationship and personal crisis and who need immediate support. Their concern is to enable children to have a positive experience of childhood and to prevent long-term emotional and behavioural problems caused by poor experiences of family life through community based social work services, counselling; play therapy, psychotherapeutic and mediation projects.
For more information see: www.cathchild.org.uk

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