London, 15 May 2017: Research by London’s child poverty charity, The Childhood Trust, has found that vulnerable and disadvantaged children in London are facing a high threat of gang violence, sexual exploitation, or neglect during the summer holidays if it wasn’t for the provision of small, local charities.
The research with 22 charities providing support to over 3600 children this summer also found that more than a third of children aged under 11 won’t have any adult supervision during the summer, and almost 90% won’t go away on holiday.
The Childhood Trust surveyed local London charities taking part in its online match funding campaign, the “Summer Give”, run in partnership with theBigGive.org.uk. The Summer Give offers donors the opportunity to have their donations doubled to help support some of London’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable children during the long school summer holiday.
Laurence Guinness, Chief Executive of The Childhood Trust, says: “It’s absolutely tragic that thousands of vulnerable children face this summer going hungry and frightened of being sexually abused, attacked or alone all day. Without the heroic support of dozens of small grassroots charities operating all over London and the kindness of donors who support them, these children would be at significant risk.”
The survey also revealed that more than a third of children would go hungry if it wasn’t for the holiday meals provision that Summer Give charities are providing during the holidays. Reflecting The Childhood Trust’s findings, a recent National Union of Teachers survey of primary school teachers in London found that holiday hunger is a growing problem for London children with 50% of their pupils affected by holiday hunger and 30% returning to school after holidays with “signs of malnourishment”.
Laurence continues: “Disadvantaged children are bearing the brunt of a perfect storm of cuts and low wages. Councils in London have slashed their youth services budgets by 36% on average and many parents are on wages that are too low to live on. Parents are struggling to feed their children properly let alone afford expensive childcare. Without the safety net provided by schools and charities children are being left in a terrifying position this summer.”
Since 2013, the charity has raised £6.1 million in match funding campaigns for over 150+ projects alleviating the impact of childhood poverty. This year’s Summer Give will take place from midday 15th to 19th May 2017, via the Big Give: theBigGive.org.uk/summergive