PARENTS TO ACT NOW FOR SUPPORT WITH SCHOOL COSTS

Despite careful budgeting, many families find it difficult to meet the everyday costs of raising a family. 

With over 30% of children living in poverty and the impact of COVID-19, many families are currently unable to afford the essentials. A recent report by The Children’s Society shows the average cost per year, per child for secondary school uniform is £337 and £315 for primary. Many people simply can’t afford new uniform and for those forced to purchase uniform from specific suppliers, the costs can result in debt or the family going without other essentials.

Help is available for families through government support including free school meals, school uniform and financial assistance, but many parents are not aware that they may be eligible or how to access it.  The professional and friendly team at Perennial can help families access government support and financial assistance, where at least one parent or carer works in horticulture. Parents are encouraged to act now to ensure that they don’t miss out by calling the Perennial helpline on 0800 093 8543 or visiting their website to find out more about how they can meet the costs of child’s schooling and plan ahead for the future. 

Many hard-working families working in horticulture are finding themselves in difficult financial circumstances. Almost three-quarters of children in poverty come from families where at least one adult is working and of those with self-employed parents, 15% of children are living below the breadline.  

Covid-19 has exasperated an already critical situation. According to a report by The Children’s Society, the income of low earners is being affected the most by the pandemic, which, along with school closures, has had a devastating effect on children living in poverty.   

A recent survey revealed that 87% of teachers believe that poverty is having a significant impact on student success at school. They shared widespread concern about school uniforms with children wearing ill-fitting clothing, no coats or socks, and shoes with holes in them. This not only causes a deep emotional impact on children but also their success at school, with children from poorer backgrounds falling behind their more affluent peers throughout all stages of education.   

“I am relieved and humbled that you have helped us. Thank you so much for your support and advice too. It feels financially overwhelming at the moment and we are grateful for this help.”  

Perennial Helps with Support for Families

Last year Martin, a parent of two children, found himself in financial difficulty and life got even harder following a close family bereavement. Experiencing anxiety and unable to see a way forward, Martin found Perennial. He reached out for help and was offered support for his family, so that they could buy much-needed school uniform for their eldest child: 

“We were blown away by the support we received from Perennial – the charity has been our lifeline. They made sure we were getting the right benefits, gave us advice on how to deal with our debt and helped create a budget so we could take control of our money and work towards a more stable future.”

Find out how Perennial can help at perennial.org.uk/SupportForFamilies 

Commentary

Julia Hayne, Director of Services at Perennial says: 

The cost of raising a family is rising but we’re not seeing wages increase at the same rate as essential outgoings and the situation has been made worse by the coronavirus crisis. We know many families are frustrated that, despite being in work and budgeting carefully, they are still struggling to meet the growing demands on their finances. We’re here to alleviate some of the pressure, taking the stress out of going back to school and helping families find financial solutions that will help them in the longer term.” 

“We help families every day, often facing difficult challenges, providing a safety net for people working in any branch of horticulture. As your charity, we’re here to give you the help and support you need.”