Emma was a recently delighted to join a panel held by Save the Children and Debate Mate giving young people from across Britain the chance to ask their questions about child poverty. The event was chaired by ex-Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton, and attended by pupils from ten different schools.
Over the past few weeks Save the Children and Debate Mate have provided materials and mentors to support children from deprived areas in debating the issue of UK child poverty. Students made a short film pitching their idea for what they would do “If I were Prime Minister”.
Emma answered a wide range of questions on topics including food poverty, the benefit system and the challenges facing children from poorer backgrounds who want to go to university.
Emma said: “I was incredibly proud to see how passionate, articulate and knowledgeable the young people were. They showed a depth of understanding about the issues that impact on child poverty and the effects growing up in poverty can have on a child’s future, attitudes like theirs can change the world for the better.
“Unfortunately the number of children in poverty is on the increase, and we seem set to miss the target set by the last Labour government of ending child poverty by 2020. Increasingly children in poverty are from working households, and a combination of stagnating wages and harsh benefit reforms under the Coalition are sadly contributing to this disadvantage.”
Save the Children Chairman Sir Alan Parker said: “As a patron of Debate Mate and Chairman of Save the Children UK, I am delighted that so many young people from across the country have joined the debate on UK child poverty and want to take action on the subject. It is incredibly important that young people have these opportunities and that we engage them now in addressing issues that may affect them, as they will be our leaders in the future.”