Calls for more to be done to address poverty exacerbated by pandemic

The charity Home Start UK is calling for more to be done to address the poverty which has been increased by the coronavirus pandemic.

A survey by the charity found that more than half of parents surveyed by them were worried about the wellbeing of their children and that being cut off from family and friends had been their biggest challenge.

The charity also found that the level of optimism for life after the pandemic was directly linked to household income.

  • Becky Saunders, the author of the report, speaks to ITV News

One mum from Wakefield has told ITV News that she current afford basic necessities at the worst point of the pandemic as her income dropped.

Louise Hickman works as a self-employed cleaner to provide for herself and her two children - she moved into a council house just before the first lockdown with repairs to the damp proofing and floor delayed for months.

Louise had to homeschool her children on the concrete floor in her living room.

Credit: Louise Hickman

She said: "We'd lived with concrete floors which wasn't much of an issue but it became a large issue when we started homeschooling.

"We didn't have a table at this point we were literally on the concrete floors sat there they weren't really engaged they were cold they didn't really want to do it."

Repairs are now being made to Louise's home. Credit: ITV News

Marie Carbutt from Home Start said: "People have said they can't take their children out because of the pandemic, for Louise that's nothing new, for her not to be able to take the children to play gyms and places like that.

"That's the norm for Louise the pandemic is coming to an end but that;'s not an end to Louise's struggles. And she will still have the trouble of trying to work; juggle the childcare and the school holidays as well."

The government says it has provided millions for grants for families in need and for schools in disadvantaged areas.

A government spokesperson added: "We know well-paid work is the best way to improve lives. That's why we're protecting jobs through the furlough scheme and creating new ones...we also continue to help families in need and have boosted support for those who have lost their jobs with billions of additional welfare funding."