Almost one child in three lives in poverty in Wales. This is a higher proportion than in any other nation in the UK and equates to almost 200,000 children. (Darllenwch y dudalen hon yn Gymraeg)

Save the Children's work in Wales

14-month-old Hannah-Lei and her family received a pushchair, a highchair and pack of educational books and toys through our Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play! programme.

Living in poverty can mean going without basic essentials, such as warm clothes or hot meals, or living in homes that are cold or damp. Growing up in poverty can also dramatically affect a child’s life chances.

Through our programme and campaigning in Wales, we work to tackle child poverty so that all children, whatever their background, have the chance to thrive and fulfil their potential.

The best start in life

Right now, too many children in Wales are falling behind before they even start school. And it’s those growing up on poverty who are most affected.

By age five, the poorest children are twice as likely to score below average for language development. Many start school struggling to understand what others are saying, speak in full sentences, or follow simple instructions.

Once a child has fallen behind it becomes harder and harder for them to catch up. As a result, many struggle to do well at school or succeed in the world of work.

That’s why we’re calling on the Welsh government to take action. We’re asking it to invest in better support for parents, and make sure early years staff can deliver world-class early learning and childcare. Join the campaign now.

Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play!

Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play! is a crisis grant programme designed to support children and families in the most desperate need.

It directly provides household essentials, such as a child's bed, a cooker or educational books and toys to families who could not otherwise afford them. 

We work closely with local partner organisations to ensure we reach the families that most need help. Since 2011, we have awarded over 3,000 of these grants to families living in poverty in Wales.

Currently, grants are available for eligible families living in Cardiff, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Swansea. 

Families and Schools Together

Save the Children's FAST programe in Wales

Four-year-old Isla and her mum Suzanne at a FAST follow-up session in Wales.

In 2010, we brought our Families and Schools Together (FAST) programme to some of the poorest communities in Wales.

FAST brings children, parents, teachers and the community together. Weekly FAST sessions are designed to support children’s learning at home and help them to do better in school.

We’re currently running FAST sessions in more than 50 schools across Wales. Independent evaluations of the programme have shown that it helps improve children’s behaviour, builds stronger family relationships and also improves levels of concentration.

Travelling Ahead

Since 2009, we’ve been working with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children and young people around Wales through our Travelling Ahead programme.

Because they’re not always involved with mainstream services, many Gypsy and Traveller children don’t have the chance to make their voices heard.

We run a network of youth forums to give them a say about the issues that affect their lives. Here young Gypsies and Travellers in Wales can learn about their rights and discuss issues that are important to them, such as education, inequality and discrimination.

Journey of Hope

Our Journey of Hope programme aims to build children’s resilience and help them cope with stressful events. Through group sessions, it enables children to discuss difficult feelings and develop coping strategies in a supportive space.

Journey of Hope can help children develop stronger support networks and address bullying or difficult incidents. It can also build their confidence, self-esteem and aspirations, improving their ability to learn.

Our campaign and policy work

We are proud that as members of the Wales United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Monitoring Group we helped to bring about an important piece of legislation: Welsh ministers are now legally bound to have due regard for the rights and obligations of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The convention is part of Welsh law meaning that any decision made by the Welsh government has to show how it affects children’s rights.



Find out more

For more information about our work in Wales, please contact or call us on 029 20 396838.

Support our UK work by donating today.

Last updated: February 2016.