PERENNIAL, the charity for people in horticulture across the UK, is ready to support families this September meet the rising costs of school. Parents and carers naturally want to give their children the best start at school to help them grow as individuals with opportunities to learn and thrive throughout their school life. But uniform, sports equipment, school trips, term-time food, transport and other essential education equipment can put real financial pressure on families. Where there is a gap in short term provision or where families cannot access the help they need, Perennial can directly support them. Julia Hayne, Director of Services at Perennial says:
“The cost of raising a family is rising but we’re not seeing wages increase at the same rate as essential outgoings. We know many families are frustrated that, despite being in work and budgeting carefully, they are still struggling to meet the growing demands on their finances. We’re here to alleviate some of the pressure, taking the stress out of going back to school and helping families find financial solutions that will help them in the longer term.”
Perennial can help families where at least one parent or carer works or has recently worked in horticulture. The charity’s professional, friendly team can help people access support towards the costs of uniform and sports kit, books and other essential equipment, term time transport, educational school trips and term time meal provision.
According to a report by The Children’s Society, the average cost of secondary school uniform, per year per child, is £340. Parents of primary school age children spend an average of £255 per year, per child. Many people simply can’t afford new uniform and for those forced to purchase uniform from specific suppliers, the costs can result in debt or the family going without other essentials.
In addition to uniform, school trips are an expense that many families cannot afford. A typical day trip ranges in cost from £10 to £80 per pupil with additional transport costs depending on the school and the trip. Residential trips can range from £200 to £350. While families in receipt of Pupil Premium or free school meals are sometimes eligible for subsidies or financial assistance from the school or local authority, this is not always the case. Julia continues:
“We help families every day, often facing difficult challenges, providing a safety net for people who are not able to find support elsewhere. As your charity, we’re here to give you the help and support you need.”
People find themselves in need of help for any number of reasons including redundancy, illness, injury, family bereavement or another life-changing event. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution as every person’s situation is different, but Perennial is here for everyone working in, or retired from any branch of horticulture and wants to hear from anyone who needs help accessing local support, choosing childcare options, understanding their statutory rights or applying for a little extra financial help during pinch points of the year such as children returning to school.
If you, or someone you know, works in horticulture and needs a helping hand, contact Perennial in confidence on 0800 093 8543, email firstname.lastname@example.org or request support online at www.perennial.org.uk/backtoschool