A NEW report by Action for Children has warned of the ‘bleakest’ winter is ahead, with thousands of families already struggling to feed and clothe their children in Wales set to be plunged into financial crisis.

Since lockdown began, the charity has been running an emergency appeal which has supported more than 10,000 vulnerable children across the country in need of urgent essentials.

One in five of emergency fund applications were from Wales, with 21 per cent of Welsh households stating they were affected by a change in employment status or pay during the pandemic.

A quarter of households who said they were facing food insecurity issues such as skipping meals to pay bills were Welsh, with almost one in five Welsh households (19 per cent) saying a member of the family was struggling with mental health issues as a result of the pandemic.

A huge 71 per cent accessing the appeal didn’t have financial issues before the pandemic.

And, even with the country’s businesses being propped up by the government’s furlough scheme, one in five families revealed they had seen at least one adult lose their job or have their pay cut.


As it launches its End Childhood Crisis campaign, the charity is warning that a generation of children are at risk of being scarred by poverty and now the pandemic.

Brigitte Gater, national director for Action for Children in Wales, said: ‘Six months into this pandemic, families are really struggling and facing a very difficult winter.

"While parents on low incomes already under severe pressure, a new wave of families who’ve never needed help before are now also struggling to make ends meet.

"Our key workers have had to deliver life-changing support to thousands of ordinary families desperate to keep their kids clothed and well-fed.

"With furlough ending and unemployment set to rise just as we hit the colder months, they’ll be facing a very grim winter indeed.

"We’ll be there to support them this winter, but the UK Government must put a protective shield around struggling families by boosting child benefit and extending the £20 a week increase in Universal Credit beyond next Spring.”

To support Action for Children’s End Childhood Crisis campaign and help its key workers deliver life-changing support for children and families go to actionforchildren.org.uk