Cost of living: Bridgend woman says kids worried they won’t eat
“My children have been saying to me ‘are we going to be able to eat?'”
Mother-of-two Laura Amos, 36, has had to reassure her two kids that there will be food on the table.
But her shopping bill shows the strain placed on her limited budget – typical of a family struggling with the cost of living
Ms Amos, from Kenfig Hill, Bridgend, said her weekly shop that used to cost no more than £30 is now “way over” £60 or £70.
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Her children are aged nine and five, and she has been relying on support from a parent and child centre near her home.
She lives with her mother, Christine, and said they both now ate less due to the rising price of groceries.
“I have always said ‘my children will eat before I will’. So I will always make sure they do, and I go without, if I have to,” said Ms Amos.
“It is a bit of a struggle at the moment with rising prices for food and energy bills.”
Ms Amos goes to the Splice parent and child group which employs a wellbeing counsellor to help her and her mother manage their finances and prepare for rising costs.
The charity also runs a baby bank which supplies essentials to new parents, including cots, clothes and nappies.
“People are really frightened. And with winter coming, it’s going to get worse,” said Tracey Morgan, who runs Splice.
“We’ve got quite a lot of parents who will go without food so that the children are getting their tea or their lunches. It is really, really hard,” she said.
More people are turning to the baby bank as the cost of essentials like nappies has soared.
The charity is also supplying adult clothes and food parcels.
‘One pay-cheque away from crisis’
Ms Morgan has noticed a difference in the types of families needing support.
“We are seeing the change now, and there is a definite shift where parents are working,” she said.
“Either one or both parents are working and they are literally one pay-cheque away from crisis.
“Or if they have a large bill in, they have a new baby – babies are expensive – and it is really, really affecting these families.”
Splice offers play sessions at its centre for any parents with children in the area, but it has seen demand grow for the more targeted support it gives to families in need.
“I’ve got parents where they are going without food so the children can have food. The heating bills are so high at the moment, they are having to [spend] less on their food. It’s frightening,” added Ms Morgan.
“We are a lifeline for parents at the moment, a definite lifeline.”
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Meanwhile, Ms Amos said the cost of energy was making it difficult to keep her children warm at home as the weather gets colder.
“The children come down in the morning, ‘oh mum, can I have a blanket, I’m cold’. Because I didn’t really want to put the heating on because it’s too expensive to run it,” she said.
“They are sitting there with blankets, until I give in for five minutes and put it on. And then it’s off. As soon as it’s had a chance to warm up, it’s going off again,” she added.
She used the baby bank when her children were born, and credited the centre with keeping her alive.
“It has given me the confidence to be the person I am today,” she said.
“Before I was attending Splice, my mental health was really bad and it was at the point where I didn’t want to be here any more.
“Without this place, I wouldn’t be here today. This is what has kept me going.”
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