Laura Sharman 25 April 2016

Research warns of 'hidden poverty' across country

Research warns of hidden poverty across country image

Although northern and Scottish cities have the highest concentration of vulnerable children and families, a new report has warned that pockets of ‘hidden poverty’ exist across the south and coastal areas.

Analysis of grant applications made to charity Buttle UK found that cities such as Sheffield, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow and Bradford are home to the most families living at crisis point.

However, it also identified ‘unexpected’ areas of hidden poverty in places such as Berkshire and Hampshire. The charity warns that these families are potentially falling under the radar of authorities.

In her foreword to the report, chief executive of Buttle UK, Gerri McAndrew said: ‘As well as it being clear that there is a need, a more complex picture has also emerged, showing that Buttle UK has seen a fall in grant applications in recent years.

‘As government funding cuts continue to have a significant impact on the overall infrastructure of social care provision across the UK, it appears that our traditional source of referrals at a local level is being reduced. This means it is becoming harder to maintain our routes to access the children that are most in meet.’

The research also showed that nearly two-thirds of families making an application for help are living on less than £10,000 a year, with lone parents accounting for the majority of cases.

The charity received more applications in the summer months, mainly due to lack of school support and free meals for children.

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