Greg Wallace’s film shows the impact of the cost of living on families with sick children

Food expert Greg Wallace has released a short film showing how the current price hike in food bills is affecting British families raising a seriously ill or disabled child. Set at the dinner table in the kitchen, the short film sees Greg meet the white family – Mom, Daisy and her children, Molly, Sapphire and Reese, who suffer from a life-limiting condition.

The short film, in support of a campaign from McCain and charity, Family Fund, was launched after research revealed that 90% of families raising disabled children struggle to pay their family bills or fall behind on their payments, with the typical family seeing increasing debt – £5,592 On average, more than three-quarters of parents have to pay more for food and groceries to meet their children’s needs, compared to families without children with disabilities.

Greg, who has a nonverbal three-year-old son, learns more about the realities of life for families raising children with disabilities and the basic grants and support services that the Family Trust provides. The work they do for families like Daisy across the UK, in partnership with McCain, aims to enable more fun together as a family at mealtimes.

The film sees Greg and the family prepare a low-cost meal that suits the family’s diverse needs, including meals appropriate to Reese’s condition. Born with a non-perforated anus and one kidney, Reese has had more than 38 surgeries since then and now suffers from chronic kidney disease that could limit his life by about 25 years. Greg and the White family talk through pressing issues, including how to manage family budgets creatively given the stark price hikes facing the nation, the impact of single parents of three children with diverse care needs and how a family fund with McCain’s help supports families in meeting to enjoy meals while Navigating the current climate.

With the cost of living rising since early this year, April 2022 saw inflation reach its highest level since 1982 according to the Office for National Statistics, affecting the affordability of goods and services for households. For many families like Daisy, who have to maintain equipment like feed pumps in exchange for the high cost of electricity, these tough times are all the more evident.

Families who raise disabled or seriously ill children have to make strict choices about family expenses, such as heating or eating, with 46% of adults admitting to cutting back on food for themselves, and 39% saying they should cut back on spending. on their energy use. Nine out of ten families surveyed with a disabled child are falling behind on family bills, with more than three-quarters of parents having to pay more for food and groceries to meet their children’s needs, spending an average of £66 extra per month on family food, On average, an extra £30 a month on home energy bills, compared to families without disabled children. The film is being released alongside research into family life across the UK, in a survey of 1,066 families, commissioned by McCain and the Family Fund, the UK’s largest charity supporting families with disabilities and critically ill children.

Other key research findings (Family Fund Survey, March 2022):

  • 90% of families raising disabled children struggle to pay their family bills or fall behind, and the average household debt is now £5,592.
  • 68% of families with disabled children are financially worse off than they were before the pandemic, and 50% of families report that their family bills have increased over the year by more than £100 per month;
  • 39% of families think they will have to borrow or borrow more money.
  • Nearly half of families (47%) are still receiving less support than they did before the pandemic, and two-thirds (66%) say their health and well-being are worse.

Mark Hodge, McCain Marketing Director said: “The rising cost of living and steep rises in energy costs have affected every household in the UK. Our short film with Greg Wallace aims to raise awareness about what it takes to provide a meal for a family like Daisy, and the benefits of raising a family like Daisy. A family with a disabled child, and the daily difficulties many families face in the current climate.”

Sheryl Ward, Group CEO of Family Fund, said: “The families we support are finding themselves more financially stressed than ever, with the current crisis of living rising costs coupled with mounting debt, lower incomes due to caregiving and the unsustainable high prices associated with raising children. A disabled child, or a seriously ill child, rolls up their sleeves to help prepare a delicious low-cost meal for children with diverse needs, Greg experiences, first hand, and the incredible resilience and creativity of families like Daisy, across the UK, in this short and moving film.

Greg Wallace said: “It has been really helpful to learn first-hand from Daisy and her children the impact of the rising cost of living and how it has affected their families’ meal times. Meeting the White Family opened my eyes to the vital supportive family fund, with the help of McCain, which provides families, especially in the current climate.”

McCain, who believes every family should be able to enjoy meals together, has worked with Family Fund since 2021, pledging to help the charity achieve its goal of providing 150,000 grants and services to British families raising children with disabilities or serious illnesses. , every year.

The Family Fund’s mission is to improve the lives of low-income families and raise children and youth who are disabled or seriously ill. The National Charity helps families in adversity and crisis, with support and vital information – including grants for essential items like kitchen utensils, clothing, bedding, furniture, family vacations, computers and tablets, sensory toys and more.

The ongoing impact of the pandemic, mounting financial pressures, and the additional costs of the “disability price” mean hundreds of thousands of families need urgent help. Over the past year the charity has given out more than 112,000 grants to families, but there are still an estimated half a million more British families who can receive its grants and services.

The short film, directed by Greg Wallace in partnership with McCain and the Family Fund, is now available to watch at http://mccainfamilyfund.co.uk/.

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