Christmas has always been a time where people up and down the country spring into action to help those most in need. This year, that need is greater than ever.
Tens of thousands of families across the country are facing their bleakest period after a year of job losses and health worries triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. Child poverty is on the verge of becoming a national crisis as an estimated 120,000 extra children are reported to have fallen below the poverty line over 2020.
But there are people making a difference. Whether nationally or regionally or locally, people are putting others before themselves and working to make sure children get the future they need. So we pulled together some of the organisations you can support in making this Christmas a little more special for the children facing a festive season on the breadline.
The big national children’s charities in the UK include:
Action for Children
Action for Children says 46 per cent of parents recently surveyed on Universal Credit are facing their first ever Christmas on the benefit.
The charity is now calling on the public to become a Secret Santa for a vulnerable child, ensuring they have a hot meal, present or safe place to sleep.
Donations also help the charity to provide support to children’s centres, breaks for young carers, help for disabled children and children at risk of homelessness.
Kids Out has set up an online shop to donate presents to children who have fled domestic violence and been forced to leave all their possessions at home.
Whether it be action figures, dolls or jigsaw puzzles, supporters can buy specific presents to ensure a child receives a gift this Christmas.
This appeal aims to raise money to send books to children who are vulnerable or in care.
While not as permanent across the calendar as some of the other children’s charities here, the BookTrust Appeal is now in its fourth year and the initiative is aiming to distribute more than 14,000 books this year through food banks and schools.
Save The Children
Save The Children say rising rates of poverty in the UK are having serious implications for children’s future life chances.
It has launched an Emergency Grant for the families worst affected by Covid-19 and is urging people to write to their local MP to demand the government commit to making the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent.
Child Poverty Action Group
With over 50 years of experience, the Child Poverty Action Group collects evidence from families living in poverty and campaigns for action on low wages, expensive housing and childcare to find permanent solutions to lift children out of hardship.
CPAG says it requires donations to ensure it can run vital services, including training frontline workers to help families get the help they need.
Cash for Kids Magic
The official charity of Magic Radio, Cash for Kids, aims to respond to the needs of communities to ensure children can live life to the full and realise their full potential.
The charity says it is prioritising cash grants for the families living in or on the brink of poverty because of the coronavirus crisis, providing funds for basic essentials such as food and heating.
The Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest network of food banks, expect a 61% increase in demand for food parcels needed this Winter, as the pandemic forces more families into difficulties.
The trust is asking for donations, food supplies and other goods such as clothing to help meet that demand.
The Children’s Society
The Children’s Society works to ensure poverty doesn’t blight children’s futures, campaigning on issues affecting financially-stricken families and providing vital food, hygiene essentials and temporary accommodations.
The charity has also launched an online shop in the run-up to Christmas to allow people to buy presents and Covid-19 support packages for vulnerable children.
With the number of children in poverty set to reach five million this year, it says donations are needed now more than ever.
Children North East
For those wanting to donate to more local charities, Children North East is one such organisation.
It promises support for vulnerable children living in poverty in their families, schools and communities.
The Childhood Trust
This charity works to improve the lives of the estimated 700,000 children living in poverty in London.
“There has never been a greater urgency” this Christmas, it says, and is aiming to restore hope and health to the young in the face of the ongoing pandemic.
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