22 August 2013 You are here:

More than a third of scots worried about being able to afford the basics for their children

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

New research by YouGov published today (Friday August 16) reveals that many Scots are  could have found their finances stretched to breaking point over the school holidays this summer, with 35 per cent of Scots parents of children aged 16 or under worrying about being able to afford the basics, such as the increased costs of meals, clothing and keeping their children occupied in the holiday weeks.

Meanwhile, 39 per cent of Brits couldn’t afford to take their children on a week-long break in the UK or abroad this year, 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.

Do you think that the school holidays add more pressure on you financially? Yes No    pollcode.com free polls 

Major Russell Wyles, Divisional Commander for the West of Scotland, said: “This survey illustrates that in spite of signs of improvement from the economy, many parents are still facing difficulties. 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. Nowadays, face-to-face interaction among young people is reducing all the time but these camps get kids to interact as a community.”

In the West of Scotland, The Salvation Army runs an annual adventure camp for many youngsters who might otherwise be stuck at home this summer.

Richard Knott, the Divisional Children’s Officer, said the trip to the Highlands took months of preparation but insisted it was worth the effort to see the children having fun.

He said: “Our camp, like the many Salvation Army camps around the UK, gives young people a break from the strains of often difficult home lives.

Students taking part in sports day wheelbarrow race

“Each camp requires a massive amount of planning, from choosing the setting to recruiting and managing a team, and ensuring all the necessary checks have been carried out.

“But it pays off when the kids have a great time. For some it's their only chance of a holiday. Many come from the city centre or live in high-rise flats so it’s great to be able to show them the countryside and things they don't normally see like wildlife, hills and lochs. It’s the first time many of them will have sat around a campfire and toasted marshmallows.

“We try and keep the costs to young people and families as low as we can. Often we do extra fundraising for disadvantaged families.

“Our costs also cover the adult volunteers. The vast majority of them are unpaid and have taken time off work so the least we can do is pay for their accommodation.”

Rebekah Clark and Tamara Gray at the waterfight

Notes to Editors: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 4,263 adults of which 355 were from Scotland. 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