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The Effect Of Poverty On Children In The Uk Harvard University Essay

1196 words - 5 pages

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Describe in detail the effects poverty has on children in the UK
Poverty is currently a huge issue in the UK and it is only set to increase. With flats being demolished and less jobs becoming available, more children than ever in Britain are finding themselves tangled in the endless chain of absolute or relative poverty and are finding it increasingly difficult to escape. Currently in the UK, a household is classed as living in poverty if the total household income is 60% less than the average household income in the UK. That’s roughly £15,750 per year. In this report, I will discuss the effects on children’s housing, health, diet, education, and social life who live in families earning less than this small portion of money.
Housing
Most families in poverty turn to the help of their local council for help when it comes to finding a place to call home. As more and more families resort to help from the council, less houses are becoming available, and the quality of the ones that are available are dropping down quicker than ever before. Over 1 million homes in the UK are classed as unfit to live in. Some families cannot be trusted to pay electricity bills, so they pay for a small quantity of electricity at a time to be put on a key that can be placed into their electricity meter. This is a good way to steer clear of debt, but the electricity often runs out and families sometimes have to go days with no electricity. In the winter 60% of poor families turn off their gas heating to save money. Winter can be a real struggle for children with families in poverty as the colder nights creep in, and the added financial pressures of Christmas and New Year lurk around the corner.
Damp is a huge issue with the houses the council provide. The walls can be ridden with a dark liquid that spreads through the house like wildfire. This often results in families having to strip all the wallpaper in their house. Occasionally, ceilings can get so damp that they just collapse, and the families are left with a gaping hole in their roof. Damp also affects many children’s overall health, which can in turn affect their education, but I will further discuss in the health and education paragraphs.
Families and children are often housed in staggering tower blocks in some of the most deprived areas in the country. These areas can often be filled with dangerous items and dangerous people, and ultimately they are not a safe environment for children to be staying. Some families however, are lucky enough to be placed in actual houses which are much less likely to be affected by damp.
Diet
Many children in poverty cannot afford to eat three meals per day. They often have to skip meals which can result in them being distracted by their hunger in class at school and in extreme cases, children can become malnourished because of the lack of nutritious food in their diet. Many children and their families can’t afford fresh fruit, vegetables and meats. They mainly have to eat...

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