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Thursday, 25 October 2018

Charity launch single amid warning on number of children facing neglect this Christmas

Written by Rachael Burnett

Around 200,000 children face emotional neglect this Christmas, a charity has warned.

The Children's Society estimates 200,000 people aged 10 to 17 year do not get the support they need on a regular basis.

The charity also found, of those who said they were suffering from emotional neglect:

  • 11% do not have their own bed
  • 21% had been homeless in the last five years
  • 20% lived in a household that had used a food bank in the last five years

Chief executive Matthew Reed (pictured) said: "Christmas Day for them is no different and for many it simply amplifies the challenges they face.

"Too many young people will wake up on Christmas morning like any other - feeling alone and unable to cope."

The Children's Society has launched its #Christingle50 campaign, which includes festive services in schools and churches for the 50th year.

A song, called Light a Candle, has been commissioned by Louise Drewett, a young composer studying at the Royal Academy of Music, and the words have been written by poet Clare Shaw.

Ms Shaw said: "Having come through abuse and familial estrangement myself, I know that music and poetry can be a transformative experience for young people.

"Louise and I wrote this piece to be accessible to everyone but I hope that for some it will speak at a deeper level and that lines like 'no child should feel alone' will have a resonance."

The song will be performed at Christingle celebrations in churches and cathedrals around the country and will feature in an advent episode of the BBC's Songs of Praise.

A survey conducted on behalf of the Children's Society in 2017 asked 3,000 children aged 10 to 17 in England, Scotland and Wales, or their parents, whether they had experienced a disadvantage in the last five years.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Children's Society / PA Wire.