Increasing numbers of children across South Yorkshire fear rising living costs

Written by Katya Witney

Over a quarter of children in Yorkshire and the Humber are worried about their families having enough money to live according to a new report from Action For Children.

The report surveyed three generations of families from across the UK in order to better understand how the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis is impacting children.

28% of children in South Yorkshire are worried about their family having enough money to live comfortably and nationally, 47% of children from low income backgrounds have the same worry.

The study comes as the Humber of children living in poverty across the county is rising, with 33% of children in the region found to be living in poverty in 2020.

Jackie Sawdon, Project Manager of The Exodus Project which is a charity that works with young people around in Barnsley and Wakefield including young people from disadvantaged backgrounds said: “I just think we’re just typical of most other areas, families are struggling financially and that has an impact on children and young people.”

The Exodus Project has been providing food parcels for families in need in the area since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic but has seen the number of families in need of support double over the last two years.

Ms Sawdon said: “It’s things that are expensive like sanitary wares that tend to get pushed back when money is a priority. So we’ll give them a pack of their basic needs but it’s doubled the number of families that we’re taking boxes to.”

Children were asked by the survey what they think is preventing them from fulfilling their potential, with children in Yorkshire and the Humber region identifying the impacts of school pressure, the Covid-19 pandemic and mental health as their biggest concerns.

Across the nation the report found that mental health is now a bigger worry for children than it was before the Covid-19 pandemic with 42% of children saying they are worried about their own mental health.

Fears of childhood getting worse were also recorded by the study with over half (59%) of parents in Yorkshire and Humber parents stating childhood is getting worse and over a third (35%) of children agreeing with them.

The report also highlighted concerns over children masking their worries with 63% of children admitting to hiding a worry from their parents and 70% believing their children keep worries from them.

Jackie Sawdon said: “The world situation at the moment is coming down and worrying the kids. That’s something we’ve been talking to them about.

“Kids seem to be under more pressure at schools, with different exams and tests all the time which is something we didn’t have as much when we were kids. I don’t think there is a quick fix answer to be honest.”

Written by Katya Witney

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