For The Childhood Trust's Summer Give 2017 matched funding campaign we have conducted research with 22 charities supporting over 3600 vulnerable and disadvantaged children in London.
The findings are shocking.
We found that children and young people are facing a high threat of gang violence, sexual exploitation, or neglect during the summer holidays.
The research revealed that nearly half of the children aged under 11 won’t have any adult supervision during the summer, and almost 90% of children won’t go away on holiday. 62% of children said they were frightened of being attacked and / or exploited by gangs during the summer holidays.
The research also indicated that more than a third of children would go hungry if it wasn’t for the holiday meals provision that Summer Give charities are providing during the summer holidays.
To check our findings we asked the National Union of Teachers to analyse the London data from their national survey of state primary school teachers. They found that holiday hunger for children in London is a huge problem with teachers reporting that 50% of their pupils are affected and that 30% of pupils are returning to school after the long summer holidays with "signs of malnourishment".
It's absolutely tragic that thousands of children living in poverty face this summer being frightened of sexual abuse, of being attacked or exploited by gangs or being left alone. Without the heroic support of dozens of small grassroots charities operating all over London and the kindness of our Summer Give donors supporting them, these children will be at significant risk.
Disadvantaged children are bearing the brunt of a perfect storm of cuts and low wages. Councils in London have decimated their youth services with budgets slashed by 36% on average and many parents are working on wages that are just too low to support their families with.
With parents struggling to feed their children properly they're finding it impossible to afford childcare or holiday clubs during the summer. Without the safety net provided by schools it is down to us and the charities we're supporting to stop children being left in a terrifying position this summer.
Our Summer Give runs in partnership with thebiggive.org.uk from midday on Monday 15th until 7pm on Friday 19th May 2017. There are 36 charities to donate to, supporting over 5000 London children living in poverty.
Please take a moment to make a donation. You'll be directly helping a disadvantaged London child to have a safe and happy summer this year. Like the two sisters, 8 and 10 who went on away on holiday for the first time ever last summer, camping for a week with the brilliant Venture Community Centre in Notting Hill. They simply said " We had the best time of our lives!"
And, your donation will be DOUBLED, yes DOUBLED! The Childhood Trust and the charities pledge donors have created matched funds for each of the 36 charities so whatever you give will be doubled whilst funds last so be quick!