78 Yorkshire Street, OL16 1JU


Category: Poverty


Understanding Bed Poverty and Its Devastating Impact on Children and Families 

You may have encountered discussions surrounding charities and social housing grappling with a range of poverty-related challenges, each presenting its unique set of challenges. Among these challenges are fuel poverty, hygiene poverty, food poverty, and many more. 

These hardships stem from a common root cause – insufficient financial resources to afford essential items to ensure the well-being and happiness of those they serve.

What is Bed Poverty?

Firstly, you must understand that the emotional and physical impact of bed poverty is something that no one should experience, as it has catastrophic downsides for individuals, particularly children. An uncomfortable resting place means an individual will have disturbed or little sleep, with enormous implications for their well-being. 

Bed poverty, often referred to as “bedroom tax,” is a socio-economic issue that represents a situation where individuals or families living in social housing face financial challenges due to the underoccupancy of their homes, as assessed by the government. 

It is a multifaceted issue stemming from the UK government’s housing policy, which has been a part of the broader welfare reform agenda. The core of this issue lies in assessing the number of bedrooms a household requires compared to the number of bedrooms within the property they occupy. 

How Many Children Experience Bed Poverty in the United Kingdom?

In the United Kingdom, the current state of bed poverty is alarming, with more than a quarter of children, totalling 4.2 million. To put this in perspective, between 2012 and 2022, the number of bed poverty increased by a staggering 350,000.

Furthermore, research conducted in the previous month shows alarming statistics: 1 million children in the United Kingdom experienced poverty last year. This marks an 88% increase from the figures in 2019.

Regarding the issue of bed poverty, recent polling conducted by YouGov shows a startling reality. There are over a million families in the previous year who have made the selfless sacrifice of giving up their beds so that their children can have a place to sleep. 

Among these families, 422,000 had parents who resorted to sleeping on chairs or sofas, while an additional 138,000 families had a parent who had to sleep on the floor. These statistics shed light on the lengths parents are willing to go to ensure their children have a safe and comfortable resting place.

What is Caring and Sharing Doing to Help Families Experiencing Bed Poverty?

Our dedicated team plays a crucial role in providing support to the children and families that we serve.  This includes the delivery of essential provisions, including food, clothing, and many more. However, while we are committed to this immediate assistance, we understand that bed poverty requires a long-term solution. 

We are steadfast in our commitment to championing the rights of every child in Rochdale Borough who wakes up in a cold home. This entails ongoing discussions with stakeholders, urging them to take swift and necessary actions to tackle poverty.  

We are working round-the-clock to address the root causes and systemic issues behind these challenges so that we may create a brighter future for all children.