More than 40 children in Cumbria will be without a permanent home on Christmas Day, a new report has revealed.
The figures come from housing charity, Shelter. They show Carlisle has the highest number of children in temporary accommodation in the county:
- Carlisle - 14
- Eden - 9
- South Lakeland - 9
- Allerdale - 6
Across Britain, there are more homeless children now than in any time over the past decade.
With at least seven families becoming homeless every day across the North West, Shelter is calling on the public to support its Christmas appeal.
The charity interviewed children and their parents living in B&Bs and hostels, reportedly the worst type of temporary accommodation, where the majority of families are placed.
The investigation found:
- Every family shared a single room
- 45% stayed beyond the six-week legal limit
- A quarter of them had no access to a kitchen
- Two thirds ate on the bed or room floor
- Half shared toilet and bathroom facilities with other households - often filthy with unlock-able doors
- More than a third of parents had to share a bed with their children
These factors can cause families "psychological turmoil", Shelter's report said, with children experiencing anxiety, shame and fear.
Several parents also said their children's physical health had worsened, speaking of bug infestations, and broken heating causing illness.
For Geraldine, 45, and her 13-year-old daughter Hannah*, living in an emergency B&B has taken a huge toll on their mental and emotional wellbeing:
One Shelter hub manager claimed the number of homeless children in Britain is a 'national scandal':
- To support Shelter's Christmas appeal visit their website.