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Charity Reveals 1 in 7 Parents/Carers Won’t Be buying Presents for their Children this Christmas

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Research from national charity Family Action reveals the stark reality many families face this Christmas.

Families across the UK are facing increasing financial hardship and new research from Family Action reveals that 1 in 7 parents/carers surveyed, said they won’t be able to afford to buy presents for their children this Christmas due to financial constraints.

In addition, a quarter of parents/carers surveyed said they won’t be able to afford to buy presents for their children’s grandparents, and almost a quarter of parents/carers surveyed said they won’t be able to afford to buy presents for their partner this Christmas, due to financial constraints.

  • 1 in 7 (14%) parents/carers surveyed said they won’t be able to afford to buy presents for their children this Christmas due to financial constraints.
  • A quarter (25%) of parents/carers surveyed said they won’t be able to afford to buy presents for their parents (their child/children’s grandparents), and almost a quarter (24%) of parents/carers surveyed said they won’t be able to afford to buy presents for their partner this Christmas due to financial constraints.
  • 1 in 5 (20%) parents/carers surveyed said they will go without heating their house this Christmas.
  • Over half (54%) of parents/carers surveyed agree* that Christmas is going to negatively affect their mental health this year because of worry about finances, with just over a third (34%) of parents/carers surveyed agree* that they will need to seek external support with finances.
  • Almost half of parents/carers (47%) surveyed agree* they expect to be in debt after Christmas 2023, while almost 3 in 10 (29%) parents/carers surveyed agree* they are still paying off debt from spending on Christmas 2022.

Family Action is launching its annual ‘Make Theirs Magic’ campaign to support families facing hard times this Christmas. The charity provides emotional and practical support to over 60,000 families across the country and this Christmas it is looking once again to distribute thousands of toys to families through the Family Action Christmas Toy Appeal.

Mum, Hayley, said: “I’ve been handling Christmas a bit differently this year. I’ve even bought some presents in the January sales. I’ve got no idea how Christmas is going to look at the moment. I’ve cut back, but I don’t know where we’ll find the money and I don’t think we’re seeing family at Christmas. It’s still a special day, it’s a home day for us.”

David Holmes CBE, Chief Executive of Family Action, said: “Every family deserves comfort and joy at Christmas, but with the high costs of food and utilities, many will find their holiday season stressful and difficult. We work with thousands of families across the country, and from the research findings and feedback from our frontline staff, we know only too well the challenges families are facing.

“It is a stark reality that one in seven parents won’t be able to afford gifts for their children this Christmas, and that for over half of parents/carers, they expect that their mental health and wellbeing will be negatively affected, due to the worry of financial constraints.” 

Mum, Cathryne, said: “At the moment I can’t work so I could never afford the gifts my children were given by people donating to the Toy Appeal. It takes away the guilt I feel as no parent wants to be in that position.”

David Holmes CBE adds: “It does seem, this year, that Christmas magic is in short supply, but this is where Family Action comes in. This Christmas we’re offering a sleigh load of practical and emotional support to families through our FOOD clubs, financial grants, FamilyLine, and our Christmas Toy Appeal.”

“By supporting our ‘Make Theirs Magic’ campaign, people can help with a special gift that could bring Christmas cheer to a child and their family. Together, we can keep the magic of Christmas alive. Thank you.” 

Visit Family Action Make Theirs Magic and keep the magic of Christmas alive by donating to Family Action.

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