Barnados report sparks media interest

Director interviewed by local BBC radio

The children’s’ charity, Barnardos, launched a report on the numbers of children missing out on a day trip to the seaside which resulted in a great deal of media interest. The Family Holiday Association’s director John McDonald was interviewed by BBC local radio for his comments on the report.

Listen to the report here.

Here is the original Barnados news release.

The children’s charity has calculated the cost of a family day at the seaside this Bank Holiday. The research looks at the cheapest train fare for a family of four from cities and county towns to their nearest seaside resort. It also includes the family price of sun-cream, fish & chips and ice-cream.

Barnardo’s finds that a no-frills day trip could cost a family with two children more than £170.00, depending on where they live. It could cost up to £172 in the South East, £127 in the Midlands, and £96 in London. The research doesn’t include additional costs such as swimwear, towels, buckets and spades, arm bands or inflatables.

Research shows that the poorest families have too little money to cover basic weekly living costs – let alone a trip to the beach. The incomes of the UK’s poorest families have declined in recent years. They have been hit hard by a toxic mix of rising living costs and working and non-working benefits cuts. Welfare reform has included measures that break the link between benefits and inflation.

One in five families currently bring in less than £423 a week for their families.2 Barnardo’s calculations reveal that – after covering basic living costs – a family of four on this income could not afford a seaside trip in any location surveyed. Minimum disposable weekly income for the poorest one in five families is £39. Yet costs for a day out range from £41 to £172 depending on where you are in the country. In fact, in one location they would have to find up to £133 extra income this week to be able to afford a trip to the seaside this Bank holiday.

Here is some of the coverage:

One in five families can’t afford a seaside day out – The Guardian, 25th August 2014

‘Every child deserves to have a day out’: Cost of a trip to seaside is out of reach – Daily Mail, 25th August 2014

Thousands of families are simply too poor for a trip to the seaside, says Barnado’s – the Independent, 24th August 2014

Charity director John McDonald agrees that too many families miss out on even a simple day trip to the seaside but it’s not just about having the cash to get on the train. “It’s about understanding all the benefits a break can deliver for you and your children, having the competencies to plan and budget for a break and to be prepared to go beyond the self-imposed boundaries of a housing estate.

“Other countries in Europe understand this so much more than we do here in the UK; we could all benefit by learning from what happens elsewhere. Literally millions of people are supported with access to a break in countries like France Spain and Belgium – to name but a few.”

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