Survey of child poverty charities finds 40% at risk of closure without emergency funds
Dozens of child poverty charities are braced to close within half a year if they are not able to replace funds lost due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Childhood Trust said 40% of 65 London charities it surveyed will struggle to keep their doors open to vulnerable children without another source of income.
It estimates more than 100,000 children could be left without key support, such as meals and mental health care.
Of the 65 charities, which support around 184,000 children and young people, 90% said they are certain children will go hungry during the Covid-19 outbreak.
This is due to a loss of free school meals, shortage of staple goods amid stockpiling, and loss of family earnings.
Some 89% of the charities said they need emergency funding from the Government, while more than half said they will need financial support so they can continue to feed the children they currently help.
And two thirds (66%) said they feel unprepared for an influx in young people needing support during the crisis.
The Childhood Trust said the coronavirus outbreak is an “existential threat” to many charities’ ability to keep running, and is calling for urgent help from the Government.
Laurence Guinness, chief executive of the Children’s Trust, said: “The stark comparison between the funding decline in charities and vast increase in children who are going to need support is hugely worrying.
“Evidence from our network of over 200 funded charities highlights that the impact of this crisis is being disproportionately experienced by children whose lives are already challenged by poverty and its attendant hardships.
“For many of these children, the crisis is exacerbating chronic anxiety, stress, inadequate diets, domestic violence, loss of peer support and rapid mental health deterioration.”
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