More than one in five of our UK population (22%) are in poverty; 14.3 million people whose options are restricted by their circumstances. Of these, 8.2 million are working-age adults, 4.1 million are children and 1.9 million are pensioners.  Eight million people live in poverty in families where at least one person is in work.

In our society, child poverty has been rising since 2011/12.   4.1 million children now live in poverty, a rise of 500,000 in the last five years. The vast majority of this rise has taken place in working families.  We now live in a country where four million workers are in poverty – a rise of more than half a million over five years. Strikingly, in-work poverty has been rising even faster than employment, driven almost entirely by increasing poverty among working parents.

People are destitute if they, or their children, have lacked two or more of these six essentials over the past month because they cannot afford them:
  •  clothing and footwear      (appropriate for the weather)
  • basic toiletries                  (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush)
  •  shelter                              (have slept rough for one or more nights)
  •  food                                  (have had fewer than two meals a day for two or more days)
  •  heating their home           (have been unable to do this for five or more days)
  •  lighting their home            (have been unable to do this for five or more days)
Poverty restricts people’s day-to-day lives and prospects: physical and mental health, healthy life expectancy, and the links between destitution and debt, health and well being.   We provide access to clothing stock held at charity shops where people in need are able to obtain clothes for themselves they otherwise would not have had, whilst maintaining their dignity.   Not only does the beneficiary of the clothes benefit but the charity shop also gains the funds towards their charitable cause.  Its the equivalent of making two donations for the cost of one.