A NEWPORT mum has spoken about the support from Save the Children as part of the charity’s new manifesto.

Stacey Eddols, from Newport, ran a cake-making business, selling at local events. But then the coronavirus lockdown hit and her business stalled. She had to claim Universal Credit and her partner was also made redundant when the company he worked for closed.

They began to have to budget a lot more than normal with limited income.

“We’re being careful in terms of budgeting out money as things are still tight but Universal Credit has helped," she said.

"I try to make sure we have food in the freezer that I can stretch out and make healthy meals out of. If I buy a chicken I will try and make several meals out of that and I know where to shop and get the best prices for food and fresh produce.

"It’s a big help that I can be creative with food and with my cooking.

“We have to be careful with just how much gas and electricity we use, especially by the end of the month. We sometimes just wear our hoodies and extra layers of clothes but as we live in the top flat it does get windier up here and the cold gets in more.”

Earlier this year the family were given an emergency response grant by Save the Children after their washing machine broke. They were also given an early learning pack and Lego toy set for their daughter.

“The washing machine was a real lifesaver as I became really stressed about how I’d be able to cope with doing all the washing," said Ms Eddols. "We couldn’t go to my partner’s parents to do it due to lockdown restrictions and being in the top flat we don’t have a garden to dry the clothes.

"It was all piling up and it was really stressful, so when I got the phone call to say we’d been given the grant it lifted my mood straight away and we’re really grateful.”


Save the Children are using their manifesto to call for access to a standard of living that is adequate to fulfil a child’s physical, mental, social and moral development – stating it is a right under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. They highlight how many children in poverty – 180,000 in Wales before the Covid-19 pandemic - can be almost a year behind their peers by the age of three.

They call on the next Welsh Government to do the following:

• Appoint a minister for children with oversight of, and accountability for all policy areas which have an impact on children.

• Establish a Cabinet sub-committee on children to ensure coordination and better scrutiny of children’s issues.

• Publishing a renewed child poverty strategy with a delivery plan, with clear measurable milestones and ambitious targets, with transparent reporting arrangements to reflect these impacts and so ensure that no child is disadvantaged because of family income.

• Extend the eligibility for free school meals to all children, including over the school holidays, where a parent or guardian is in receipt of Universal Credit or equivalent benefits.

• Ensure that all children living in poverty, regardless of age and parental work status, have access to a high quality coherent and integrated ECEC system.

• Work with schools and other early years’ service providers, including the allocation of funding, to promote the importance of family support and parental engagement; as well as making sure this is promoted as part of the roll-out of the new curriculum.

• Support parents to engage in their children’s learning and development at home. Parents need to be able to access support, information and resources, including digital resources, to effectively support their children’s learning at home without stigma.