I promised no more running talk until The Color Run is over, and I’m going to keep to that. However seeing as it is TOMORROW (argh!) I do just want to take a few moments to reflect on exactly why I agreed to this challenge.
As I said when I took this all on, the Save the Children Bloggers conference back in February really inspired me to try to help people less fortunate than myself. Hearing of the work that Save the Children do all around the world is both shocking and fantastic in equal measure.
Just this last week they have published their latest report, A Fair Start for Ever Child, which showed that a record 5 million children in the UK could be trapped in poverty by 2020. That is just unacceptable. When you think that this is happening right here in the UK, a first world county where our government has pledged to end child poverty, it makes you realise just how vital Save the Children are.
This isn’t just about statistics. It’s real children who are suffering and being disadvantaged. Children who you may walk past in the supermarket, or who may be at school with your children.
So, what can we do to help?
As well as donating money to Save the Children, we all need to tell our politicians that they need to take action on this. We need a commitment from all the main political parties to get this back on track, and we need that commitment before they all start concentrating on next year’s general election.
Save the Children is calling for a Fair Start Promise:
High quality childcare for the poorest children
Government should work towards minimising the impact of childcare costs on household budgets for low income families while ensuring that childcare is available, affordable and of high quality in all areas.
A minimum income for the families of children under five
This would ensure every family, with children under five, can afford the nutritious food children need and to heat their homes so that kids get a good start to their childhood ahead of primary school.
A national mission for all children to be reading well by 11
We want to see government, schools, businesses, civil society and the media come together to end the scandal of children unable to read well by the age of 11. This commitment must be realised through long term educational and social support pre-school and throughout primary school.
Please sign Save the Children’s petition here.
Save the Children have also teamed up with Debate Mate to ask a group of 14 – 16 year olds what they would do to put an end to child poverty in the UK if they were Prime Minister. A selection of these videos are available on the Save the Children Facebook page and they’re asking for the public to vote for who they think has the best argument. The top ten will then be invited to a special debate in Westminster, where they will be able to put their arguments directly to MPs from the main political parties. These teenagers have some great ideas and views and I really hope that these politicians take notice of them. Seeing as things aren’t improving it sounds like these politicians need all the help they can get!
So tomorrow, and next Sunday, this is exactly why I’ll be running for Save the Children. Many thanks to all of you that have sponsored me already. If you want to sponsor me you can do so here.