Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Campaign to prevent children with disabilities missing out on essentials

Last week I supported Contact a Family’s Counting the Costs campaign to put an end to families with disabled children missing out on basics like heating and food.

The charity launched it's Counting the Costs campaign at the Houses of Parliament last week. Contact a Family is a UK charity that offers advice, information and support to families regardless of their child’s disability or health condition. They link families together to reduced isolation.

In one of the biggest surveys of its kind with over 3,500 respondents, Contact a Family’s Counting the Costs 2014 research* investigated the financial situation of families with disabled children and reveals a sharp rise in families going without heating and food leading to some disabled children and their families suffering ill health with:
• 33% of families who responded to the survey saying they regularly go without heating (up from 21% in 2012 when the last Counting the Costs survey took place)

• The number going without food has nearly doubled since 2012 (up from 16% in 2012 to 30% now)

And of those who said they were going without and in debt:

• 22% said their child’s health has worsened as a result

• 64% said that this has lead to their own health suffering
At the Counting the Costs Parliamentary launch I visited the charity’s ‘pop-up’ advice shop and listened to families with disabled children who spoke about some of the financial challenges they face on a daily basis, the extra disability costs and the impact going without has.

The Contact a Family’s call to help families with disabled children aims to get better deals on energy bills and to tell families about the expert financial help that Contact a Family can offer to ensure families with disabled children get what they are entitled to.

It’s hard to believe that some families with disabled children are going without essentials like heating and food. Contact a Family’s latest Counting the Costs research shows that this has got worse over the last 2 years. That’s why I am supporting Contact a Family’s call to lower energy bills for disabled children, affordable childcare and getting more families seeking advice on their finances from trusted places like Contact a Family”

ENDS

Notes

Contact a Family supports families with disabled children across the UK. Whatever the condition, whenever they need us, wherever they are. We provide information, advice and support. We bring families together so they can support each other. We campaign to improve their circumstances, and for their right to be included and equal in society.

*Counting the Costs 2014 is a survey and report about the finances of families with disabled children. The online survey carried out by Contact a Family was completed by over 3,500 UK parents of disabled children between May and July 2014. It is a repeat of a survey carried out every two years since 2008, with some additional questions asked.