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

    Group of kids at school - Perennial support for families

    Back in March we looked at the care inequalities that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. Our partners at Perennial have been looking at how they can further support families during this difficult time.

    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 to find out more about how they can meet the costs of child’s schooling and plan ahead for the future.

    “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.”

    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.

    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