Dear Editor

For most of us the festive season is a happy time but there are children all over London who face a very different Christmas. After nearly two years of worry, isolation and poverty because of the pandemic, and with inflation now at its highest rate in almost 10 years¹, many families are now at breaking point, struggling to afford the basics like food, heating and clothes.
Recent research by us found more than two fifths of working parents in the capital said they are likely to take on extra work, or not take time off, to be able to afford Christmas. Of these, more than nine in ten are likely to miss out on at least one key family moment like waking up on Christmas morning together or unwrapping presents together.

This Christmas looks especially challenging for working parents on Universal Credit following the £20-a-week cut in October. Many told us they are likely to cut back on heating, skip meals, replace some meals with breakfast cereal or seek help from a foodbank over the break.

Our frontline workers see the impact the pandemic and cost of living crisis is having on children and families every day. But we also see the difference that can be made – that’s why we’re asking your readers to help us make a life-changing difference to vulnerable children this Christmas and beyond.
I’m asking your readers to be a Secret Santa for these vulnerable children by texting CHILD to 70607* to donate £10 or by visiting iamsanta.org.uk

Let them and their families know that someone is thinking of them this Christmas.

Kate Isham, London operational director at Action for Children