A Year of COVID-19

23rd March 2021

A report on the impact of the pandemic for children, young people and families already on the brink

Today, one year after the first national lockdown in the UK in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we are publishing evidence collected through 12 months of our Chances for Children grant giving.

This highlights how families, already in crisis, have been made to struggle even more during the pandemic. More families are in debt and struggling financially. Mental health problems have increased in parents and children. More children have been experiencing neglect. More children have been struggling or unable to engage in home-schooling, and parents have struggled to support this on top of dealing with trauma.

Priorities within Buttle UK grant giving have shifted to ensuring that children and young people: are living in homes that are equipped to meet their basic needs; have access to education online; and have toys, games and sport equipment needed to keep them happy, entertained and stimulated at home. The proportion of families in crisis needing basics like a bed, an oven or a laptop has dramatically increased during the pandemic.

Over the next few months, the generous additional COVID-19 financial aid that donors and supporters have made available will come to an end; and so, perhaps, will the sense of emergency. However, this report demonstrates the extent of problems that have accumulated for the most vulnerable families over the last 12 months, the consequences of which will be felt for a long time yet. We also know that others will join them, as the impact of recession and job losses become more evident.[1] While levels of need remain high, it is likely that public resources will be more stretched than they have been at any point since the 2008 financial crisis. Therefore, finding ways to make whatever resources are available to support communities go as far as possible will be more important than ever.

In response to this, Buttle UK’s Trustees have taken a decision to draw additional funds from our endowment over the next two years.  However, even with these extra funds, we know we will be unable to meet the level of need and we therefore hope that others will again join us to help create more chances for children during these very difficult, unprecedented times.

You can read a summary of the report here.

[1] https://neweconomics.org/2021/03/millions-facing-an-income-crisis

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