Eat, sleep, learn, play!

Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play! is our UK programme which supports children living in the most severe poverty. We award crisis grants to provide household essentials, like a child's bed, a cooker, or toys and books, to low-income families without the money to buy these items themselves. We've reached more than 43,000 children so far. With your support, we plan to help many more. 

3.7 million children are currently living below the poverty line in the UK, one of the highest rates among developed countries.

For children, growing up poor often means going without necessities. It can mean sharing a bed with brothers or sisters because their parents can’t afford to buy one, wearing dirty clothes because their family can’t pay for a washing machine, or going without toys and books which are essential for developing early language skills.

Low wages, welfare cuts and increased living costs are combining to place enormous pressure on families. Unexpected expenses are forcing many to go further into debt or turn to high interest money lenders.

We know a nurturing, stimulating home enviornment in the early years of a child’s life is vital to their development. If their basic needs are not met during this time, it can have profound consequences for their health, their education and their life chances.

We are determined to do something to help these families and their children. That's why we've created Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play!

How does Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play! work?

We directly support families living in poverty by providing them with essential items, such as a cot bed, a cooker or books and toys, and in doing so:

  • we help families living in desperate need cope with the financial impact of having a young child.
  • we support the poorest children from birth up to three years old. Providing families with the basic items they lack at a critical time in their child’s development.
  • not only do these items help families in their everyday lives but they can also often have a profound knock-on effect on their wellbeing.

We have ambitious plans to grow Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play! over the next few years to reach thousands more vulnerable children every year.

Michelle's story

Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play! - Michelle's story

Photo: Jo Metson Scott/Save the Children.

Mum-of-two Michelle received a new fridge from Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play! - helping her to feed her family without going into debt or borrowing money.

“I needed a new fridge. The old one was leaking and the door was opening on its own. Things were defrosting, milk was going off and the food was being wasted," she told us.

"I had no idea how I was going to get the money and then it was like a guardian angel knocking at the door. It was amazing.”

What you can do to help

Please donate so we can reach the poorest families with Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play!

Just £5 – the price of a sandwich and a coffee – will pay for a blanket to help keep a child warm at night or books and toys to help give them a better start and let them play like other children.

Together we can give children here at home a real chance.

For more information about the programme, contact Hannah Pentith at: