Appeal launched to help stop poverty limiting children’s lives and futures
- Carolyn, Single parent
One Parent Families Scotland has launched an urgent appeal for donations to provide practical and financial support for children living with a single parent struggling to provide for their children because of the cost-of-living crisis.
Donations from the #EatHeatLearnPlay appeal will be used to provide children with food, energy vouchers and other essentials.
A recent Ipsos survey of parents in Scotland found that single parent families have experienced financial hardship in greater proportions than couples with children. More than half of single parents in Scotland (58%) reported that they had found it harder to pay their bills compared to just 44% of couples with one or more children (44%).
- Samantha Morrison, Advice and Information Manager at OPFS
Samantha Morrison, manager of the charity’s Advice and Information Service said:
“Single parents have always had unique pressures when it comes to finances, but the recent increasing costs of living have only deepened the divide and pushed more families over the poverty line.
“The helpline regularly answers enquiries about money matters, but the number of families calling us worried, anxious and desperate for help has rocketed in the last few months. It’s heart-breaking to hear so many families having to make tough decisions and choices all just to maintain a basic standard of living: just to be able to heat, eat and live. Families who are struggling to afford even the basics also must forego other formative experiences and “luxuries” such as days out, new clothes or access to internet and devices. Children in these families have a higher chance of missing out and falling behind their peers, through no fault of the family, leaving a number of short- and long-term effects on their wellbeing.”
Carolyn, a single parent from Edinburgh, whose four-year-old son has sensory processing disorder, said:
“Part of the sensory processing disorder my son has, has been that he doesn’t feel hungry, or he doesn’t feel tired. So, we are mirroring behaviours so he can see that we’re both eating together and eating the same thing. And now he’s asking me, “Why am I not eating? Where’s my food?”. So, it’s tough because you don’t want to burden your child with the fact that actually it’s due to money. You know, it’s coming towards the end of the month and actually mummy can’t afford as much food.”
Marion Davis, Head of Policy and Strategy of OPFS said:
“All the money raised from this appeal will be used to directly benefit the children accessing our support – food packages or vouchers so that children don’t go hungry; energy vouchers to make sure children have a warm home; clothing for children and other essentials such as nappies; toys to make sure all children get a chance to play.”
“We know that disrupted schooling and isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on children’s education and mental health. Hot in the heels of the pandemic, many children in single parent families are now fighting against the rising tide of poverty caused by spiralling food, energy and fuel costs.
“No child should struggle to concentrate at school or be forced to squeeze into shoes two sizes too small because there is nothing for breakfast or no money to pay for a school uniform. However, this is the reality for too many children living with a single parent, who are amongst the hardest hit by the current cost of living crisis.
“It does not have to be this way. You can help us to turn things around for Scotland’s children. With your help, we can ensure children have a safe, warm and healthy home, helping reduce child poverty, allowing them to reach their full potential. Children need your donation now more than ever.”