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Cost-of-living crisis could rob kids of simple childhood experiences

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Children could miss out on the simple, care-free childhood experiences this summer because of the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, a charity warns.

Typical childhood experiences such as trips to the beach, the local pool, the zoo or even affording an ice cream could be missed this summer due to the ongoing effects of the cost-of-living crisis.

Charity Go Beyond warned that missing out on these activities could leave children isolated from peers and lacking confidence.

The children’s charity offers those living in poverty, caring for loved ones or those who have been bereaved, abused or bullied a chance to get away from their daily lives where they can experience a holiday in the countryside.

Last year, all of the professionals who referred children for a break at Go Beyond agreed that the chance to join other children in experiencing activities such as visiting a water park for the first time, spending time at local farms, visiting beaches and enjoying ice creams had improved the children’s confidence and helped them develop a sense of hope.

Meanwhile, 97% agreed their general wellbeing improved and 93% agreed that their relationship with others had improved.

Cost-of-living crisis cutting off childhood

However, Go Beyond is concerned about the “burgeoning cost of living is making even the simplest holiday-like activities unaffordable”.

Michele Farmer, CEO, said: “Most of the children and young people who come to us for a break are living in low-income households, characterised by the Government as living in disadvantage socially and economically. This means they are frequently faced with needing to choose between essentials such as feeding their families or affording basics such as electricity or water.

“Among other pressures on their households, these children are unable to have the care-free, childhood experiences that their peers and classmates are offered during the summer.

“It would be easy to take for granted just what a difference having those simple childhood experiences can make to a young person, but every week we see how giving children space away from the worries and pressures they face at home to spend time playing, having adventures and making new friends, gives them the opportunity to grow in confidence, explore nature, learn new skills, improve their emotional and physical health and wellbeing and develop an early passion for the environment.”

Referral for a holiday

Farmer added that as summer approaches, millions of families won’t be able to afford a holiday, with some not even able to afford the simplest days out.

“A week with us can change that. At no cost to the family, a child who is referred to us by a professional can spend a week having fun, in the fresh air, eating good food and making memories that will be theirs forever,” she said.

You can donate to Go Beyond or, if you work with a young person who needs a break, contact the Go Beyond referral team by emailing info@gobeyond.org.uk or calling 01822 811020.