You are currently viewing How GFK beneficiary Barnardo’s is helping children and families experiencing bed poverty

How GFK beneficiary Barnardo’s is helping children and families experiencing bed poverty

  • Post category:News

There are over one million families experiencing bed poverty in the UK according to a recent YouGov survey, commissioned by Barnardo’s, one of Gold for Kids’ recipient charities.

Bed poverty is just one part of the child poverty crisis in the UK.  It’s a shocking statistic and very much central to the core aims of Gold for Kids to give as many vulnerable children as possible the chance at a better life.  When you donate your unwanted crowns and bridges, these are some of the children and families you are helping.  But what is bed poverty?


According to research from Barnardo’s, bed poverty can look different from family to family.  It can include:

  • broken beds and damaged bedding: families can’t afford to replace or repair unsuitable beds or bedding, for example bedding that has gone mouldy 
  • sharing beds and rooms: a number of families in the Barnardo’s research were sharing beds with their children as they could not afford separate places for them to sleep 
  • sleeping on the floor: Barnardo’s practitioners mentioned working with parents or children who are sleeping on the floor because they can’t afford beds
  • families unable to wash or dry bedding because they can’t afford to pay for energy  

(Information from Barnardo’s website)

In a Barnardo’s blog article, Ali Cooper, Senior Policy Advisor on Child Poverty for the charity, said:

“We asked YouGov to conduct research on our behalf with parents and children.  We found there are over 1 million families where parents have given up their own beds so their child had somewhere to sleep in the last 12 months.”

She then went on to talk about one parent, a mum of three, who said:

“It’s just so difficult to know where to turn – I have never struggled like we’re struggling now. We can only afford a food budget of £50 a month – and as the boys are sleeping on the floor, it’s really hard for them to get to sleep. I have to keep the heating on in the evening to try and make it more comfortable for them, and then I wake up early to turn it on again before they wake up.” 

Meanwhile, a Barnardo’s worker who supports parents who are struggling financially, said:

“On my daily visits I see the poverty so many children are living in. Good beds and bedding are always lacking and I also often see families sharing mattresses on the floor with no sheets on or badly soiled duvets. These items come very low on the list of items to purchase when families are struggling to make ends meet, especially since the rise in food and heating bills.”

This is a heartbreaking and wholly unacceptable situation and is why Barnardo’s is just one of the charities we support through Gold for Kids.

Barnardo’s provide essential support to children and families who are struggling by delivering food and clothes as well as essential items for the home, like cookers, washing machines, beds and bedding.  They are also talking to the Government about taking urgent action to address child poverty in the UK.

Please help us help them. If you would like to register interest in donating your unwanted crowns and bridges to Gold for Kids or if you would like to request a collection, please email

To read more about bed poverty, please visit the Barnardo’s blog here: