Eat, sleep, learn, play!

Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play! is our UK programme which supports children living in the most severe poverty. We provide crisis grants to provide household essentials, like a child's bed or a cooker, to low-income families without the money to buy these items themselves. We've reached more than 30,000 children so far. With your support, we plan to help many more. 

3.5 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: sleeping on a mattress on the floor because their parents can’t afford to buy a bed; going hungry because there’s no money to replace a broken cooker; wearing dirty clothes because their family can’t pay for a washing machine.

Lack of jobs, stagnating 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 are determined to do something to help these families and their children.

That's why we run 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 educational 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.

Patrick’s story

Three year old Patrick and his brother, Vincent, were sleeping on old cot beds with worn and uncomfortable mattresses.

He wasn’t sleeping and his mum Rosie said:

”It felt like the boys were getting no sleep at all and were always miserable during the daytime because they were so tired.”

Through ESLP! Patrick’s family were awarded a new bed. Now he sleeps through the night.

“We have such a better bedtime routine and the general mood is better in the house. Life’s just much easier since the bed was delivered,” said Rosie.

Before she had the boys, Rosie worked full-time. Rosie is now studying part time at college so she can go back to work and provide for her family.

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 Sara Franziska Wilk by emailing s.wilk@savethechildren.org.uk