Save the Children has launched our U.K. Emergency Grant Fund Appeal.

Even before Coronavirus, four million children lived in poverty in the U.K, an d that is rising. In the UK, Coronavirus threatens children’s early education and increases the financial strain on parents. Children’s learning and development, mental health and well being are at real risk.

The impact on parents is huge. With schools, nurseries and offices closed in the UK, many parents are unable to work and are struggling to provide access to suitable resources and activities for children at home.

Families are facing four key issues –

-Food poverty and scarcity of essential items – there are limited supplies in food banks as well as limited access to food, hygiene products and baby products in shops. This is particularly difficult for families who have tight budgets.

– Lack of early learning opportunities -many families main concern is to ensure that children are fed and looked after and they may struggle to focus on supporting the learning of their children.

– Increased family stress -parents have the added pressure of financial uncertainty, reduced access to social support networks and full-time childcare often with limited space and resources

-Limited or no internet access and IT equipment – this is an essential services for home learning resources as well as public health information. Many families living in poverty don’t have access to Wi-Fi or don’t have th right kind of devices that would support children’s learning and development

Save the Children’s response to the coronavirus outbreak

To meet the need identified by parents and partners, Save the Children have launched an Emergency Grant Fund.

Save the Children knows that parental engagement and the home learning environment are key to children’s development. Therefore it has developed an emergency grant offer for families affected by the virus. This grant will help by providing –

Early learning resources which include education toys and books

Food e-vouchers direct to families that can be used in major supermarkets or online

Household products to support the home learning environment such as tables and chairs

As part of the grant, every family will receive advice on how to support their children’s learning at home, information on available services that they can use and tips on how to retain routines, including time for play. Guidance and messaging for parents wil also be provided to talk to their children about the virus and how they can man age their own stress.

The Emergency grant will initially be delivered in 14 areas across the UK.  This will be increased if Save the Children receives significant funding enabling it to reach additional areas.

Across the world, Save the Children is ensuring the safety of children, their families and the staff who work with them, putting in place measures to prevent infection and responding to the changing nature of the outbreak. Save the Children has sent its top health adviser to support its teams inAsia, and it has experts providing vital technical advice in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Pakistan. As the situation evolves it will send its Emergency Health Unit – a Unit comprising Doctors, nurses and logistics experts – to countries with fragile health systems to support infection prevention and control.

Warmest wishes from all of us at Save the Children.