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Children will be eating cold dinners, sharing baths and missing out on activities after energy price rise – Save the Children

Parents are warning that their children will be forced to eat cold meals, share baths and stop after-school activities after today’s (Friday) increase in the energy price cap. 

With many households facing an increase of hundreds of pounds in their energy bills, parents who campaign with Save the Children are warning say they’re struggling to find anything more to cut back, with one mother saying she feels “physically sick” at the prospect.

Bethany, a single mum to a 7- and 3-year-old, says:

“I am anxious about the prices going up even more. I've already been trying to cut back on a lot of things and it's going to be even harder when the prices increase again. 

“I'm going to try and cut back even more on what we spend on food and try to freeze more. We’ll be eating a lot more cold meals, triple-checking that plugs are turned off if not being used and limiting TV even more than we already do.  

“We already have the heating off a lot, and my children rely on extra layers, duvets and weighted blankets. They have to have shared baths or not fresh baths between each other to preserve the boiler from heating water.

“It's hard for them to understand. My 7-year-old has no concept of money so it's difficult to explain to her. My 3-year-old will have no concept of things either which will make things difficult for him, but hopefully he won't notice as much.” 

Jeanette*, another working single mother, says:

“I actually feel physically sick. I feel pressurised to work more hours even when I'm already working as much as I can. I often do more work after my daughter goes to bed to make the most of the time I have without it affecting her. 

“My daughter has three after-school activities a week and I'm doing everything I can to keep budgeting for these. They’re important to my daughter and I and are not luxuries but vital for her physical and mental health.”

Kaysey, a working single mother to a 13-year-old daughter, says:

“I’m starting to feel anxious about how much more we can do to try and cut back or even adjust our lifestyles in line with the energy prices going up. 

“We already make sure we are constantly turning off plugs we don’t use and not putting the heating on unless it’s necessary. With the school holidays coming up, we will be spending more time at home, which means more energy being used. It is worrying.

“Also, with all the bills which are going up, my wages haven’t increased, so I don’t know where we are going to find the extra money to cover the increasing costs, when it’s not just energy prices increasing”

Commenting on the energy price rise, Dan Paskins, Director of UK Impact at Save the Children, said:

“The rise in energy prices will be devastating for families on low incomes. We’ve already seen families having to choose between heating their homes and feeding their children, and these price rises will undoubtedly leave millions of parents wondering how they will be able to cope in the months ahead.

"Unless families are provided with more support, this increase in energy bills will leave more children living in cold and damp homes, going to bed hungry, and missing out on the opportunities they need to grow and thrive. 

“This isn’t good enough. The government must do more to ensure that benefits increase in line with inflation. That would be the most effective way of supporting families through this crisis.”


Notes to editors:

  • Names marked with a * have been changed.