LATE Universal credit payments have left mums having to rely on charity in order to provide the basics for their children.
The parents waiting for the funds to come through are turning to baby banks which help furnish them with prams, baby food and more. Baby Basics, based in Sheffield, started ten years ago and provide nappies, clothes and wipes mum’s struggling with money for free, The Mirror reports.
Instagram An baby bundle made up for an expectant mum by Leeds Baby Bank
It says it has seen a 93 per cent rise in those needing their services between 2016 and last year. and now has 34 units across the UK.
The baby banks supply pregnant women or those with children aged 5 or younger. They are referred to by health professionals.
Little Village, another baby bank, runs three centres in London and said the number of families referred to them rose from 773 in 2017 to 1,254 in 2018.
Chief executive Sophia Parker said: “We see mums unable to pay for nappies and food for their children, babies sleeping on towels and broken beds, families living in single rooms with nowhere to cook or play.
The Sun wants to Make Universal Credit WorkUniversal Credit replaces six benefits with a single monthly payment.
One million people are already receiving it and by the time the system is fully rolled out in 2023, nearly 7 million will be on it.
But there are big problems with the flagship new system – it takes 5 weeks to get the first payment and it could leave some families worse off by thousands of pounds a year.
And while working families can claim back up to 85 per cent of their childcare costs, they must find the money to pay for childcare upfront – we’ve heard of families waiting up to 6 months for the money.
Working parents across the country told us they’ve been unable to take on more hours – or have even turned down better paid jobs or more hours because of the amount they get their benefits cut.
It’s time to Make Universal Credit work. We want the government to:
Get paid faster: The government must slash the time Brits wait for their first Universal Credit payments from five to two weeks, helping stop 7 million from being pushed into debt.
Keep more of what you earn: The work allowance should be increased and the taper rate should be slashed from from 63p to 50p, helping at least 4 million families.
Don’t get punished for having a family: Parents should get the 85 per cent of the money they can claim for childcare upfront instead of being paid in arrears.
Together, these changes will help Make Universal Credit Work.
Join our Universal Credit Facebook group or email UniversalCredit@the-sun.co.uk to share your story.
When you see people working and not being able to afford nappies that’s really shocking.”Little Village chief executive Sophia Parker
“It’s hard to convey how difficult the circumstances are that many find themselves in.
“I’m shocked by the dramatic rise in the number of families we’ve seen and the sheer level of need we’ve uncovered.
“These are families on the edge of crisis. There is no cushion for them to fall back on.
“When you see people working and not being able to afford nappies that’s really shocking.”
Are you on Universal Credit? Tell us your story. Email: email@example.com and join our Universal Credit Facebook group.
Carla, from Camden, North London, started going to Little Village when her Universal Credit payment was delayed.
She said: “When I first came, my jaw hit the ground. I just cried, I was so overwhelmed by it all, by the kindness.
“They’ve given me absolutely everything I need for my baby… buggy, clothes, nappies, dummies, the lot. Having this support is one less thing for me to worry about.”
Leeds Baby Bank launched in 2017 and was visited by only a few mums but it now helps up to 16 a week.
Supervisor Jackie Appleton, 52, said: “One family literally only owned what they wore. Another man came last week to collect a carrying unit so he could take his child home from hospital.
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“I have had women cry into my arms and some who have told me they don’t know what they would do without me.”
A government spokesman told the paper: “We spend £90billion a year to support those who need it.
“We have introduced the National Living Wage, doubled free childcare for three and four year olds, cut taxes for 32 million people and made Universal Credit improvements.”
Instagram A team from Baby Basics advertising the service at a church fair
Instagram Volunteers at the Leeds Baby Bank helping to sort out stock
Instagram Baskets are created for mums to ensure they have everything they need for their babies
Instagram The charities help to provide clothes for children aged five and under
Instagram They also help ensure expectant mothers have prams they can use
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