Our winter crisis fund is a lifeline for families across the UK

Wednesday 08 November 2023
Boy looking out of the window at Christmas.jpg

Families across the UK are struggling. Our winter crisis fund means Action for Children can be there for them when no one else is. So, what is our winter crisis fund and how does it help vulnerable families at Christmas?

What is our winter crisis fund?

Our winter crisis fund first began in March 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We created it to help families and young people facing financial hardship. Since then, we have continued to support families who are struggling. We do this by providing grants and vouchers to help families afford the essentials. Otherwise, they could go without the things often taken for granted, like a hot meal, a winter coat, or a warm home.

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Young boy wearing coat and gloves outside

How our winter crisis fund helps families

By providing grants from our winter crisis fund, we helped 5,743 children in 2022/23

We’ve provided emergency grants to families and young people in our services to help with the cost of essentials like food, bills, and cooking equipment. We’ve also helped with travel costs so that families can get to work, appointments, or reach our services.

A parent had a broken oven and was shocked when I said we may be able to help. When I told them we had secured an oven and I will deliver it, the parent laughed. They couldn't believe it, they said no one does anything like this for them.

Service worker

Making a difference this Christmas

Last year, we helped a young person get the clothing they needed to stay warm in winter. They were going to school in Dad’s old coat which didn’t fit them. We helped pay for the family’s food shopping, which allowed them to free up money to buy warm winter clothes.

Another family was also struggling to dress for the cold weather. They were saving up for winter coats, but in the meantime the children were walking to school in all weathers with just a hoodie and shoes with holes in them. Through the winter crisis fund, we were able to provide them with winter coats and new shoes.

Teen boy outisde in warm clothes smiles at the camera. He's infront of a a background of glowing Christmas decorations

We’ve seen countless parents going without food so they can give their children a hot meal. One family shared that the Christmas holidays had become a time for concern. By being at home for the festive period, their children were not receiving their free school meal. Their food and fuel costs had risen, and they were worried about having enough money to put food on the table and stay warm. A time for celebration had become a time for fear. We helped by giving the family food vouchers.

Thank you so much for the food vouchers. We will now be able to celebrate Christmas because of your amazing help. We can eat some nice hot meals and even have enough to buy the kids some Christmas treats. We could not be more grateful.

A family who received help through our winter crisis fund

How you can help

We were only able to help these families and children thanks to the generosity of people like you. You can help us reach more families this winter and beyond through our Secret Santa Christmas Appeal. By buying a virtual charity gift, a child somewhere in the UK could have a new coat, warm bedding, or a Christmas present just for them.

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By becoming a Secret Santa, you could help a family in need.

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