22 August 2013 You are here:

40% of British parents are worried about providing the basic necessities for their children, says YouGov poll

Sean Haddick, Staff member Isaac Sibanda, Oli Elson, and George Hunt enjoying table football

New research published on Thursday 22 August, reveals that despite recent good news on the economy, many families could be finding their finances stretched to breaking point over the school holidays this summer, with 40 per cent of UK adults with children aged 16 or under worried about being able to afford the basics such as, the costs of meals, clothing and keeping their children occupied in the holiday weeks.

Thirty-nine per cent of respondents couldn’t afford to take their children on a week-long break this year in the UK or abroad, according to a YouGov poll commissioned by The Salvation Army. The church and charity gives hundreds of disadvantaged children aged eight and over a holiday every year at summer camps.

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Major Denise Cooper, The Salvation Army’s national children’s ministries leader, explained: “This survey shows just how difficult parents can find the summer months when their children are not at school. We see that increased costs such as providing extra food for children, as well as keeping them entertained and buying new school uniforms, just adds pressure financially.

“For many vulnerable young people, Salvation Army summer camps offer a rest from the strains of often difficult home lives, with the week-long trip away providing the only holiday they will get. Our summer camps are part of our work to provide compassionate and caring support and practical help.”

The YouGov survey also showed that 45 per cent of those in the C2DE social group were more likely to be worried about proving the basics for their families over the summer.

Students taking part in sports day wheelbarrow race

Eleven-year-old summer camp attendee Ashley-Rose said: “This is the third year I’ve gone. I enjoy all the activities and getting stuck in. There’s me and a few girls in my street who go. It is exciting. I love going on the climbing wall and the zip wire. It is really fun.”

Her mother, Natasha, said: “It is a fantastic opportunity that the children can get involved in. They do lots of activities. It helps with child care as it’s a week taken care of in the summer holidays and they have good friends who go.”

Rebekah Clark and Tamara Gray at the waterfight

According to the survey, parents were more likely to be facing particular hardships in Wales and the Midlands, where 50 per cent and 48 per cent, respectively, saying they cannot afford to take their children on holiday this year.

In South and Mid Wales, The Salvation Army runs an annual week-long adventure camp, attended by children referred through social service departments and through other agencies.

Korin Jones, The Salvation Army’s Children’s Officer for South and Mid Wales, said: “The kids come from challenging home backgrounds and the ethos of our adventure camp is ‘to allow children to be children’. As the week goes on we see them begin to relax, free of the cares and responsibilities they face at home.”

Notes to Editors:

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 4263 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between  7th - 12th August 2013.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

For more information contact

Sophie Docker, Media Manager, on 0207 367 4517 or 0203 657 7555. Martin Donegan, Media Officer, on 0141 779 5255 or 07885 664 721 or email martin.donegan@salvationarmy.org.uk