Uh oh, you are using an old web browser that we no longer support. Some of this website's features may not work correctly because of this. Learn about updating to a more modern browser here.

Skip To Content

Don’t let poverty hold children back

What happens when young people take control of how their story is told? When you take grown-ups and our preconceptions out of the picture (but throw in an award-winning movie director for good measure)?

The result is this heart-wrenching short film. Written by a group of young people in Save the Children's network with experience of poverty. The story in the film marks the crucial moments in children’s lives and reveals what could be different if they’re just given the support they need.

Together, we’re campaigning to make sure all children - no matter what situation they’re born into - get a fair chance to realise their dreams.

When children live in poverty, we all feel it.


An average of 10 children in every school were pulled into poverty during the pandemic.  And now, families who never thought they’d struggle are being rocked by the cost-of-living crisis. The impacts could last a lifetime. It doesn’t matter how loving families are, poverty - and the lost time, isolation, and stress it brings – is holding children back now and long into the future.

But we can change this story. Children’s potential is limitless. And when kids are given fair opportunities, they reach that potential and achieve their life goals faster. That’s not just good for them, but all of us; more nurses, teachers, inspiring leaders. More whatever they want to be.

How you can help

1 in 4 children in the UK live in poverty. It doesn't have to be this way.

Don't let poverty hold children back - start by adding your name. Call on the UK government to take more action to end child poverty.

Girl in school uniform in a classroom with her hand up

What we're doing about it

In homes, classrooms, and neighbourhoods across the UK, we work alongside children in poverty to give them a chance of the future they deserve.

Our emergency grants programme reaches thousands of homes, delivering early education packs, supermarket vouchers and household essentials to help struggling families. We unite families and schools, making sure the poorest children get extra support, and help parents build a positive home environment. And we strengthen partnerships between parents, schools, nurseries, GPs, food pantries, health visitors, housing managers, and family support workers to make sure there are no gaps for children to fall through.

We research to find the most impactful policy changes that would make the UK a fairer place for all children. Then we campaign alongside kids, parents, and volunteers to persuade the government to put them in place; whether it’s expanding free school meals in England or scrapping the two-child benefit cap – which unfairly punishes children.

Think that’s worth supporting? Donate to Save the Children today.

Behind the scenes

Polaroid images of the film and supporting crew behind the scenes of our video

"If you don’t have enough money for food, this can affect how well you do in class. Often parents are loving, supportive, and they try their best but there are many big obstacles. We really wanted to encapsulate all of the young people’s stories who were part of the project.”

- Maddison, 16, Newcastle

The film and supporting creative campaign were co-designed by young people who have experienced poverty, working alongside Save the Children and creative agency Effervescent, with funding from the Big Lottery Fund. 

In our story, a girl is studying hard to be a doctor. She isn’t qualified yet and is having to work a second job. She is being held back, right when a family in crisis needs her most.

Filming took place in Bristol, with direction from award-winning filmmaker and proud working-class Bristolian, Paul Holbrook.  Dot Smith, a young artist from Plymouth, sang the music.

You might also be interested in: