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case studies > St Nicholas - The Real Every-Day Santa...

St Nicholas

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics state 13.5 million people in the UK live in persistent poverty. This number has barely changed since 2002/03. The UK also has the highest rate of children living in poverty in the industrialised world.

The number of people in poverty in working families is a whopping 55%, which is a record high. And this is largely due to the proliferation of zero-hour contracts.

One of the places in the UK with the highest levels of poverty is Boston, in Lincolnshire, where the use of food banks is on the increase and, like the rest of the UK, private landlord evictions are also rising.

In Boston the St Nicholas Parents and Children's group run daily sessions for families to eat and play. There they also run a lunch group for seniors. One of the effects of poverty is social isolation, so these sessions are an essential life-line to the people of Boston who attend.

Giving World was asked to step-in and help the people attending to meet their day to day needs. The reasons people attend is varied, from those who lost everything in the floods and are still living in caravans, to elderly people who only see or speak to another person when they attend the lunch-time sessions.

The centre deals with front-line poverty every day. New clothes and underwear were desperately needed, so we went to our partner Delta Galil. Delta has been around since the 70s and is a massive global brand of private label apparel for men, women and children. They provided us with clothes and underwear which were distributed at the centre.

For obvious financial reasons struggling to stay warm is another side-effect of deprivation, with families often forced to choose between heat and food. Euro-Rose helped us with that conundrum, donating cosy cardigans and jumpers for all age groups, along with some wonderful, and warm, hats.

Children living below the poverty threshold usually miss out on educational toys and activities too. Simple developmental milestones, like building towers out of blocks, are often missed due to lack of money to purchase developmental activities. We were delighted when Creative Kingdom Books, a wholesale supplier of books, stepped in to supply us with children's activity sets and games. Seeing a child at play, learning and developing, is truly an incredible gift. Ad-Products, a supplier of promotional products based in Manchester, also donated much needed stationery.

Similarly, Enesco provided the families with household goods like crockery and glass-wear. Again, essential items if children are to eat good nutritious food and not finger food, like boxes of chips or pizza. Learning to eat with cutlery is also a developmental milestone and one that many children living below the poverty threshold miss out on.

The goods have helped the people who attend in many, many ways, not least helping their incomes stretch further by providing essential life items.

Giving World partners with over 5,000 small charities across the UK, who are dealing with the fall out of poverty right here in the UK, every single day.

If you are an organisation that can donate your brand-new surplus, please do get in touch.

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