First News - - SPECIAL REPORT -

There are 4.2 mil­lion chil­dren liv­ing in poverty in the UK – that’s about nine in ev­ery class of 30 chil­dren. Since lock­down be­gan, nearly two mil­lion peo­ple have ap­plied for fi­nan­cial help from the Gov­ern­ment, which means that more peo­ple than ever are in need of our help. The fam­i­lies hit hard­est have been those un­able to work from home dur­ing the lock­down. It of­ten means that money for things like shoes, which were once deemed ev­ery­day and af­ford­able, are now in­creas­ingly be­com­ing an un­af­ford­able ‘lux­ury’ for far too many.

Due to ris­ing poverty lev­els, it is es­ti­mated that 1.7 mil­lion kids will at­tend school in badly-fit­ting, un­clean and in­cor­rect cloth­ing.

Last year, as part of our Toe to Toe ini­tia­tive, more than 650 schools across the UK do­nated their school shoes for us to give out to kids who need them. This year, due to the lock­down, those do­na­tions will be de­liv­ered to us later than usual and the new aca­demic year will have al­ready started. This means that many fam­i­lies will be faced with the aw­ful prospect of choos­ing whether they should buy school shoes and uni­form or buy food and pay bills, as they can’t af­ford both.

We want to en­sure that we have a sup­ply of school shoes ready to dis­trib­ute to those who need them most, in the run-up to the start of the new school year. So, we’re fundrais­ing to buy new school shoes to give those fam­i­lies a help­ing hand. We have sup­plier con­tacts na­tion­wide who can of­fer us a dis­counted rate on school footwear, so the more money we raise, the more pairs we can buy. But we need the pub­lic’s help to be able to do that.

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