MORE than 9,000 children in Blackpool are living in poverty, according to a devastating new report.
The study released by Save the Children shows a third of all youngsters in the resort are facing hardship with figures up by a staggering 3,000 from six months ago.
Today professionals have warned the life chances of young people could be catastrophically damaged by the effects of living in poverty.
And their school attainment could also suffer major blows as children go to class hungry in shoddy uniforms. Support has been snatched away from local families as Government cutbacks have seen Sure Start Children’s Centres, which work with parents, close.
Allowances for school uniform and school meal grants have also been axed.
The spiralling cost of utility bills and cuts to housing benefit – expected later this year – are also adding to the pressure of families trying to make ends meet.
In February, it was confirmed 6,000 – or 22 per cent of all children living in Blackpool – were living in the worst conditions.
Many schools in areas of high deprivation already put steps in place to care for children.
Packed lunch inspections are carried out to check children are not eating sandwiches on mouldy bread and are eating a balanced diet.
Alternative food provisions are often bought in at the school’s expense.
Washing machines to clean soiled uniforms and even shower facilities have been provided to make sure children are able to sit in lessons without embarrassment.
FOR THE FULL STORY SEE MONDAY’S GAZETTE.