This International Women’s Day we wanted to highlight on the current cost of living crisis and the disproportion effect this is having on women.

A YouGov survey carried out by The British Psychological Society shows that 61% of women say they are more anxious about being able to pay their bills than this time last year, compared to 47% of men, while they also report feeling more depressed about the cost of living crisis than men.

Throughout the Home-Start network we have heard how the crisis has been impacting families and how the burden of this is being felt mostly by women.

Charlie, has been a family support coordinator at her local Home-Start for 18 months and says she is now seeing the very real impact of the crisis.

I currently work with 17 families at my local Home-Start and 13 of those families are struggling with finances at some level,” she says. “We recently completed a cost of living checklist with some of our families and they all said they were struggling to afford at least one essential item. Financial stress is causing mental stress and this is mostly felt by the mothers. Although the situation affects the whole family the person coming to us for support is almost always the mum.”

Charlie supports volunteers who have been in similar situations, and who provide one-to-one support to mums with young children, helping them to be the mums they want to be.

Charlie explains that her team of Home-Start volunteers are currently supporting:

  • A mum who is considering sleeping downstairs with her three children to save on energy bills.
  • A mum with a 10 month old baby who is facing the possibility of homelessness due to rent increases she simply can’t afford.
  • A mum who couldn’t afford the special formula milk her child needs due to the cost.
  • A mum who couldn’t afford a car seat.

One mum currently being supported by her local Home-Start explained, “Home-Start has helped me with things I didn’t even know I needed. My volunteer, Leigh, weathers it all with me. She’s like a professional friend”.

I feel like she has been me and understands what I’m going through.  I have older children and this time round has been so much harder for me and my baby financially. Home-Start is flexible to whatever situation you have.  I’ve not been able to go back to work as I just couldn’t afford nursery which had left me feeling isolated. Leigh is helping me look at how I will transition back into society again. I’m in a slightly better situation now thanks to my volunteer.

Home-Starts around the UK are supporting mums through this crisis, and they are making a huge difference to parents and their children.

By donating to our Cost-of-Living Crisis Appeal you will be making sure that local Home-Starts can continue to deliver vital services to families.

Read more Home-Start News