22 August 2013 You are here:

Half of Welsh parents surveyed can’t afford to take their kids away for a week long break this year, says YouGov poll

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

New research published today (Friday August 16) reveals that half of families in Wales could be finding their finances stretched to breaking point over the summer, with 50 per cent of parents unable to afford a week-long holiday.

Just over half (51%) of Welsh parents of children aged 16 or under are worried about being able to afford the basics, such as the costs of meals, clothing and keeping their children occupied in the holiday weeks, 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 Derek Jones, Divisional Commander for South and Mid Wales, said: “This survey illustrates the difficulties facing so many parents. We are seeing 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. 

“Our summer camps are designed to support families and be safe environments where children can develop their confidence and independence. In today’s society face-to-face interaction among young people is reducing all the time but these camps get kids to interact as a community.”

In South and Mid Wales, The Salvation Army runs an annual week-long adventure camp attended by children referred through social service departments and other agencies. For many youngsters it is the only holiday they will get this year.

Korin Jones, The Salvation Army’s Divisional Children’s Officer, 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.

Students taking part in sports day wheelbarrow race

"We had seven young leaders at the camp this year who previously attended when they were young. It's a thrill and a privilege for the adult leaders to have these young people working beside them.

“These teenagers are able to express what camp has meant to them over the years. One said: 'To be honest it is only the thought of the camps that keeps me going year on year.”

Rebekah Clark and Tamara Gray at the waterfight

Notes to Editors: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 4263 adults of which 222 were from Wales. 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 Martin Donegan, Media Officer on 0141 779 5255 or 07885 664 721 or email martin.donegan@salvationarmy.org.uk