Barnardo’s warns of Christmas misery for children in poverty

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Charity launches Kidsmas campaign to help vulnerable children this festive season. 

23rd November 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Many children supported by Barnardo’s will go without presents and a festive meal this Christmas, according to a survey of hundreds of the charity’s frontline workers.

The poll found that 43% of staff were supporting families who would go without gifts and a festive meal on December 25.

Staff also said they were concerned that some of the children and families they currently support will experience an increase in mental health issues (78%) and loneliness (64%) over the festive period.

The news comes in the wake of reports from hunger charity Trussell Trust which showed food parcel donations are up by nearly a quarter year-on-year, with one third of these going to children.

Adults celebrating Christmas who responded to a separate YouGov survey for Barnardo’s said their top concern was that some children and families will miss out on traditions such as having a Christmas meal or receiving presents.

Other concerns included the over-commercialisation of Christmas and spending too much money.

The results are being published during the charity’s first Kidsmas campaign, which aims to raise money to help vulnerable children at Christmas.  

A campaign website has been set up which allows users to create a Kidsmas snowman, with donations coming in the form of virtual snowballs. Supporters can also host Kidsmas parties to raise money for the charity.

Javed Khan, Barnardo’s chief executive, said: “Vulnerable children across the UK will struggle this Christmas. Many families supported by Barnardo’s miss out on the fun and celebration we normally associate with this time of year.  

“It’s particularly difficult for children experiencing domestic abuse, dealing with mental health issues, recovering from sexual exploitation or struggling to live independently after leaving the care system. 

“That’s why we’re asking people to come together to raise funds and help Barnardo’s make sure that vulnerable children are safe, supported and cared for - at Christmas and all year round. I encourage everybody to get into the Kidsmas spirit.”