Friday 09 October 2020
Young worried boy sitting at table with empty plate

The government urgently needs to improve financial support for low-income families affected by coronavirus. Here's our evidence

Even before the pandemic, many low-income families were finding it hard to make ends meet. Now, due to job losses and rising household costs, even those who were coping are struggling.

Download the full report
Read the executive summary

What we did

We analysed application forms submitted to our Coronavirus Emergency Fund, from March 2020 to July 2020. We found key trends among families in need of help.

We also looked at the findings of a survey of our frontline staff. They've been crucial in delivering support to children and families through our services during the pandemic.

What we found

  • 29% of our fund was spent on food for families.
  • 37% said that the pandemic had led to financial pressures due to the increased household costs of having all the family at home full-time.
  • 21% had seen at least one adult lose their job or have their pay cut.
  • 30% were struggling to access enough welfare benefits to meet their daily living costs.
  • 86% of staff surveyed thought the crisis had left families they work with financially worse off.
  • 78% of staff reported the pandemic was having a negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of the children they support.

What needs to change

We’re calling for the government to increase financial support for families.

We want the Chancellor to announce in the Autumn Budget that Universal Credit will not be cut by £20 a week from April 2021.

And we're asking the government to develop and put in place a strategy to reduce UK child poverty.

What young people say

We asked young people to tell us what they thought about the findings of our report. They shared their ideas on what's needed to protect children from the effects of poverty.

Read our young people's report

End childhood crisis

Over four million children in the UK are locked in poverty. Support our End Childhood Crisis campaign and you’ll help give vulnerable children a safe and happy childhood. Your donations will help us deliver life-changing support for thousands more children and families.