the impact of your donations
CPAG is the nation’s leading charity working to keep everybody’s head above water and to prevent child poverty. Backed by many supporters and donors, we have made a positive difference to hundreds of thousands of children and families living in poverty since CPAG was set up in 1965:
Lifting over one million children out of poverty
In the 2000s we worked through the End Child Poverty coalition, which we now host, to secure a comprehensive child poverty strategy, culminating in the Child Poverty Act in 2010 committing the government, for the first time, to legally-binding targets for poverty eradication. As a result, 1.1 million children were lifted out of poverty.
Providing advice and support
CPAG pioneered the UK welfare rights movement, providing practical advice to help people on low incomes claim their entitlements.
Last year, our advice service provided expert casework support in 9,236 cases, supporting 1,450 organisations across the UK, and helping an estimated 36,900 people.
We successfully piloted welfare rights advice for parents in school settings. We were able to reach groups less likely to seek advice from mainstream advice agencies, namely women and people from a BME background, and more likely to access advice when it is available at a school.
Last year, CPAG advisers recovered £497,000 in annual benefits payments in 300 cases at welfare rights advice sessions held in London schools and at a foodbank in Tower Hamlets.
Free school meals
Marcus Rashford's campaigning has shone a spotlight on what CPAG and many others had been calling for - that more children should get free school meals. We recognise the value of universal free school meals, and back in 2014 were instrumental in persuading the Scottish government to commit to the introduction of free school meals in the first three years of school following their introduction in England.
If we want to tackle poverty, every child from a low-income household must be able to make the most of the school day.
That’s why we set up our Cost of the School Day programme: helping school communities identify and overcome cost barriers that shape and limit children’s opportunities at school. This project sees children, parents and school staff identify these cost barriers and take action to remove them. Read about some of the successes so far.
This new work builds on our existing Cost of the School Day project in Scotland supported by the Scottish Government, with the addition of the ‘poverty proofing’ expertise of our partners Children North East.
Our work in Scotland, led to the announcement of a minimum £100 school clothing grant across Scotland for eligible families.
Protecting children in vulnerable circumstances
CPAG has successfully challenged unjust and unlawful policies to protect people in vulnerable circumstances, such as survivors of domestic abuse, refugees and disabled children.
Our work led to improved processes for domestic abuse survivors so they can access child benefit quickly.
2,000 families a year stand to receive bereavement support payment worth up to £10,000 thanks to our legal win on behalf of two fathers left caring for their young children after their mothers died, and denied the benefit because they were not married nor in a civil partnership.
We won our legal challenge on employment and support allowance underpayments for those who were moved over from incapacity benefit. This means 70,000 disabled people will receive money (in some cases thousands of pounds) they should have had all along – money that will help support them and their families.
Our High Court case challenging the two-child limit (which limits tax credits and universal credit to two children in a family in many circumstances) partly succeeded, and now kinship carers and adoptive parents are exempt from the limit in all circumstances.
Improvements to our social security system
“My children are bright, ambitious and talented as are so many others, why should a welfare framework that could easily support their ability to reach their full potential be the main cause of halting it?”
29-year-old mother of two boys, represented by CPAG, who won her case
CPAG galvanised support to ensure the successful introduction of child benefit in 1977. In 1991, after a campaign stretching back to 1985, we won the campaign to save child benefit. We formed a coalition of 70 organisations including other major children’s charities, women’s organisations, church bodies and trade unions.
More recently, universal credit waiting times have been reduced after CPAG and many others highlighted how this was affecting families in poverty, and three-year universal credit sanctions were abolished.
We persuaded the Department for Work and Pensions to increase the childcare element of universal credit from 70 per cent to 85 per cent.
Following sustained pressure from CPAG and others, the government increased universal credit work allowances for families with children by £1,000 a year starting in April 2019. That means up to £630 a year (just over £50 a month) in the pockets of these families.
Progress in Scotland
Universal credit campaigning
Spotlight on: judicial review
A history of campaigning
You can make a difference
We need your help to make sure those in positions of power act on our recommendations to tackle the root causes of poverty.
We provide trusted and expert information, training and advice to frontline workers to help families get the financial support they need.
We need donations to run our vital services. £3.90 a month over a year could fund an hour of our valued advice service so families in poverty get the support they need.
Where will my donation be spent?
94.4% of your donations are spent on helping people
We put your money towards work that makes a positive and lasting difference. For every £1.00 you donate, 94.4p helps find solutions to poverty.