Go back a step

Contact a Family launches Counting the Costs campaign

Tuesday 25th November 2014

Take action on Contact a Family's Counting the Costs campaign.

Based on feedback from over 3,500 families, we're urging energy companies and the UK government to address a sharp increase in families with disabled children going without heating and food. This is leading to ill health.

You helped us shape the campaign. Now we need you to send our campaign email to your MP to help us put pressure on the UK government to stop this alarming trend.

This is a quick and easy process that will only take one minute, but it will make a huge difference.

Our findings

"Going without essentials like heating has a direct impact on Harry, and worrying about paying the bills means I feel stressed and anxious."  Chantal, mum of Harry who has complex needs.

The campaign is launched with the results of our Counting the Costs 2014 survey. Of those surveyed:

  • a third of families with disabled children are going without heating
  • the number of families going without food has nearly doubled in the last two years.

And of those going without and in debt:

  • 22 per cent say their child's health has worsened as a result
  • 64 per cent have suffered ill health as a result.

We found that:

  • 36 per cent have taken out a loan (up from 29 per cent in 2012)
  • a third are worse off as a result of benefit changes - nearly half by £1560 a year
  • 60 per cent see their financial situation worsening in the next year (up from 43 per cent in 2010).

Amanda Batten, Chief Executive of Contact a Family, says: "Increased living costs and cuts to financial support have left some families with disabled children reeling. The impact is affecting their health, relationships and in some cases is making their child's condition worse."

Join our campaign to help families going without

Your voice will help the government see that these are issues that matter to thousands of families.

We've written a template email with our findings and what we want. We need you to take action and send it to your MP, asking them to:

  • push the government to increase access to financial support and work
  • call on all energy companies to offer a fairer deal to households with disabled children
  • tell families with disabled children about the financial help that's available.

Take action and send our campaign email to your MP now.

If you have any questions about our research or want to know more about getting involved in the campaign, email Una.summerson@cafamily.org.uk or call 020 7608 8742.

More information