Police commissioner calls on Government to do more to tackle child poverty on visit to South Shields charity

The Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner is raising fresh concerns that this Christmas is going to be an extra tough one, especially for kids in the North East.

Friday, 17th December 2021, 3:17 pm

Earlier this year, it was reported that the North East region has the second highest rate of child poverty in the UK with 37% of all children and young people living on or below the breadline, and Northumbria PCC believes the North East is ‘levelling down’.

The Northumbria PCC made the comments during a visit to local charity Clothe and Feed in South Shields.

Her office is supporting the charity with donations of Christmas jumpers and children’s toys in place of secret Santa gifts between colleagues this year.

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Northumbria PCC Kim McGuinness and the team at North East charity Clothe and Feed

Kim McGuinness, said: “Thank goodness for places like Clothe and Feed, especially as there’s some real hardship with Covid and the end of furlough. There are kids in our region who don’t even have a winter coat, never mind a tree with presents under it.

“To think of any child having a miserable Christmas is heart-breaking but to think 1 in 3 kids in our region will be spending Christmas living on the breadline, which is many more than other areas of the country – it makes me cross and I feel disgusted the Government isn’t doing more.

“In recent years the North East has seen a dramatic jump in the number of children growing up in poverty – if anything, we’re levelling down.

For four years, charity Clothe and Feed has been providing struggling mums and vulnerable children living in the North East with essential items, either for incredibly low prices or free of charge.

In its mission to relieve clothing and food poverty for parents or carers and their dependents in local communities, the charity is now the largest baby and school clothing bank in the region with three outlet locations currently in Wallsend, Byker, South Shields and Sunderland.

Shakira Robson from Clothe and Feed, said: "This year has seen yet a further surge in the need for our services and affordable items.

“In order to meet this increasing demand, we are appealing for donations of toys and baby equipment from our local community.

“We were delighted and overwhelmed with the generosity shown by Kim's office colleagues this morning.”

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