Child poverty in London is about more than income. For many children, poverty can mean uncertainty, stress, hunger, loneliness, boredom, poor health and a lack of opportunities. The most disadvantaged children fall at least two years behind their peers when they come to sit their GCSEs.
Our work is focused on helping children living in poverty to overcome the many disadvantages caused by poverty. London children are much more likely to live in poor households and are less likely to be able to afford everyday items than children in the rest of England. 55% of poor children in London are materially deprived compared to 44% in the rest of England.
Whilst childhood poverty was prevalent before the coronavirus pandemic, its scale and complexity has been compounded by recent economic and political circumstances. The UK government is ending several programmes meant to help people impacted by the pandemic, including the furlough scheme and £20 universal credit uplift. This is compounded by rising inflation and the energy and supply chain crisis. As the cost of living rises, parallels with the 1970s ‘winter of discontent’ have been drawn, with predictions that poverty and inequality will increase.
As part of our mission to promote the voices of children and young people, we worked in partnership with the Octavia Foundation and a group of young people to produce two films in the summer of 2021. These films highlight some of the many challenges facing children and young people in London such as inadequate housing and food insecurity. The young people wrote, produced, shot, and edited these films with no prior experience. Both films were premiered at our London Child Poverty Summit in October 2021.
Can't Let Them In
18-year-old Ahmed lives with his parents and younger sister in a cramped one-bedroom flat. When an escalating leak seeps into the lower floor, it draws the attention of their furious neighbours as well as the imposing council. Riddled with shame in his circumstance, Ahmed refuses to answer or let them in... But with his innocent and curious sister in the flat with him, the knocking at the door becomes harder to ignore.
In The Music
14-year-old Desha is a timid young girl, obsessed with escaping reality in the world of her mixtapes - and it is with the help of her mixtapes that after getting herself in detention, she puts into action her plan to dress in a convert disguise and steal a keyboard from her school... But why is this shy young girl having to steal a keyboard?
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