Caritas launch summer campaign highlighting extent of child poverty in the diocese

228,855 children living in poverty across Salford Diocese*
Caritas Diocese of Salford (‘Caritas Salford’) is today calling for urgent action, following new figures which show almost a quarter of a million children in the Diocese living in poverty.
The charity, which is launching its Summer Appeal by sharing the shocking extent of child poverty in each of the local authority areas covered by the geography of the Diocese of Salford, is urging Government to take immediate action.
Caritas Salford operates a diverse range of services across Greater Manchester and Lancashire, including professional services for children, and its latest fundraising appeal is asking for support to enable them to reach even more local families.
Patrick O’Dowd, Director said:
“As we go through the most severe period of price rises for 40 years, we know that more families than ever will need help, especially across these school holiday weeks and the planned energy price hike in the autumn.
“It is simply not right that children are suffering, and these latest figures of the numbers living in poverty in our area are frankly shocking.
Demand for our services is higher than ever, and it’s heartbreaking and completely unacceptable that families are having to choose between paying bills or feeding their children.  Action must be taken now.”
Caritas Salford is grateful for the research carried out by Loughborough University on behalf of the End Child Poverty Coalition and published earlier this month.  It shows that there were 3.6 million children still living in poverty in the UK, despite the additional support provided to low-income families via the £20 uplift to Universal Credit.
The charity is calling for the Government to support people’s immediate spending needs by:
  • Increasing benefits now (as opposed to April 2023) to bring them in line with inflation
  • Reintroducing the £20 uplift for Universal Credit
  • Providing a one-off payment to households in dwellings below EPC band C
  • Implementing policies that helps mitigate the impact of inflationary shocks in the future.
Caritas Salford’s website provides the breakdown of child poverty by local authority area and priorities of how government can support immediate needs:  www.caritassalford.org.uk/child-poverty/  and the information will also be promoted via a postcard direct mailer and social media campaign to raise awareness and encourage support.
Since its launch in 2020, the Caritas Bishop’s Fund has been awarding small one-off emergency grants to families and individuals in crisis.  Access to these grants is promoted via Caritas frontline workers and partnership organisations, as well as the diocesan network of schools and parishes.  The fund has helped people in many different ways, ranging from supermarket shopping vouchers through to replacement white goods and children’s beds.  It has helped hundreds of people when they have been at their lowest points in their lives (terminal illness, loss of job, bereavement, eviction, survivors of abuse).
As well as providing accommodation to support young parents and their infant children experiencing homelessness, Caritas Salford provides tailored support services to school children and their families as they experience difficulties.  This work has included working with bereaved children, supporting families where there is young offending and providing counselling services.