Wood Street Mission children’s charity say that many families in Salford still struggle to buy their child a school uniform.

Des Lynch, manager at Wood Street, said: “We’re 150 years old this year and we shouldn’t have to be doing the stuff we’re doing in this day and age”.

The latest figures show that over 17,000 children live in poverty in Salford. Wood Street Mission gives out new and good quality second hand clothing and a range of other essentials.

Many areas of Salford have been subject to numerous regeneration schemes over the past decade.

However the latest figures and concern expressed by the charity suggests that no attempt made has really been effective.

Wood Street Mission says that there is still not enough funding being given to low income families.

Des said: “We’ve had a lot of governments in our time but none of them have ever really tackled child poverty”.

Currently, 55,000 people are living in poverty across Manchester and Salford.

Since 2010, Councils across the UK have suffered huge spending cuts.

It was only recently that Manchester and Salford City council stopped giving out school uniform grants.

In 2019, Salford Council will have had its central government funding reduced by 53% since 2010.

Poverty occurs when a household’s income falls below 60 percent of the median UK household income.

In 2019, Salford is ranked as the 22nd most deprived local authority in the UK.

It has the 38th highest level of personal debt in the country.

It is also the fifth highest number of children living in poverty in Greater Manchester.

People can fall into poverty for many reasons – from rising house prices to low pay and unemployment.

Wood Street Mission says the key to breaking the cycle of poverty starts at school but many families still struggle to afford basic school costs.

Des said: “When you’ve got kids going to school cold and hungry in this modern era then you’ve got some problems”.

The Food Poverty Action Plan, by Greater Manchester Poverty Actions, said: “While fuel poverty, child poverty and other aspects of poverty are measured, food poverty is not.”

They continued: “This presents many problems as it leads to food poverty not being adequately prioritised or understood.”

The charity’s recently launched Smart Start programme aims to deliver £1m worth of school clothes to help break the cycle of poverty.

Des said: “It aims to provide a child with anything they might need to go to school and to keep them in school”.

 

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