Fifty-five children living in extreme poverty in Dewsbury may sleep more soundly this Christmas thanks to a grant from the Yorkshire Young Achievers Foundation.
The grant will benefit children living without a bed by providing a bed bundle, made up of a brand new bed, mattress, duvet, pillow, sheets, pyjamas and hygiene kit.
The Foundation has made the grant to Leeds-based Zarach, which works with more than 50 schools and partner organisations to identify children in need, delivers the bundles and supports families in crisis.
Zarach founder, Rebekah Wilson, said: “Our project started in Leeds where there were more than 5,000 children living without a bed, with many more going to bed hungry or cold in bedbug-infested or damp conditions, often sharing with parents or siblings. Not only do these families lack somewhere to sleep but the houses they are living in do not meet the most basic of standards.
“Poverty is a real problem that has a significant effect on a child’s education. Children are arriving at school unable to concentrate or engage due to a severe lack of sleep or food – and Dewsbury is one of the 20 constituencies with the fastest growing child poverty rates in the country.
“The grant from the Yorkshire Young Achievers Foundation has helped us to make sure that 55 children now have beds for a decent night’s sleep.”
Foundation Vice Chairman Richard Stroud said: ““For us, the thought of a child not having a bed, mattress, pyjamas and clean bedding is horrendous and we are delighted to have been able to make a difference to more than 50 children this Christmas and in the longer term overcome one of the biggest barriers to learning – children who arrive at school tired and hungry.”
Yorkshire Young Achievers Foundation grants are made to young people aged under 35 and organisations which work with them across the whole of Yorkshire and anyone who would like to apply can find details at https://www.yorkshireyoungachievers.co.uk/how-to-apply.html
The main fundraiser for the grants is the annual Yorkshire Young Achievers Awards, sponsored by McCormicks Solicitors. The 28th Awards take place on Thursday 19 November 2020.