New local child poverty data; a young person’s opinion

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Today, 6th June 2024, the End Child Poverty Coalition has released data showing that;

  • Two thirds of constituencies in the 2024 General Election have at least a quarter of children living in poverty
  • There is a strong correlation between constituencies with high rates of child poverty and the two-child limit

More info here.

But what does this actually mean for young people who are growing up in poverty, or have experienced living in a low income household? Layla*, who is aged 19 and from London, tells us what she thinks about these statistics:


I respond to this news not just as a young person, but as someone who has personally experienced the harsh realities of poverty. the recent findings from Loughborough University for the End Child Poverty Coalition resonate deeply with me, and seeing that over 30% of children across the UK are living in poverty, with two-thirds of new constituencies having at least a quarter of children facing this struggle, brings back vivid memories of my own childhood and the beginning of my own adulthood

Growing up in poverty meant constant uncertainty and anxiety, and meant watching my caregiver struggle to make ends meet, sometimes having to choose between paying bills or buying food. It meant missing out on school trips, new clothes, and being pointed out as the free school meals kid. what I’m trying to say is that these are not just statistics; they represent real lives, real struggles, and real futures at risk.

Hearing the call from the End Child Poverty Coalition for political parties to prioritise this issue fills me with a sense of urgency as it would not just be a policy change, but a lifeline for many families.

The disparities highlighted, especially in areas like the North East, London, and the North West, show that this issue is widespread and deeply rooted. it isn’t enough to just acknowledge the problem; we must act.

As someone who has walked this path, i urge our leaders to listen and to act. the upcoming election is a chance to commit to real, meaningful change, and ensuring that no child has to grow up feeling the weight of poverty, and having the opportunity to thrive is something every party should aim to include in their campaign.


*Name changed to protect her identity

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