Thriving or Surviving inquiry launched

26 June 2015


Poll warns of triple hardship facing families today

A new poll of over 2000 British parents warns that almost a third are teetering on the edge, saying they are only just “surviving” or “struggling to cope” in their everyday lives.

Almost half (46%) of parents would say they are currently “facing financial struggles”.

And it seems parents have little cause to be optimistic for the future with only a third (33%) believing their children’s standard of living will be better than their own, a quarter (24%) thinking it will be worse.

The national poll commissioned by the charity 4Children found that while a third of families are “struggling” or just about “surviving”, only one in ten (12%) would describe themselves as “thriving” or “doing really well”.

The survey findings are released as 4Children launches a new inquiry into family life in modern Britain today “Britain’s Families: Thriving or Surviving”- uncovering the challenges and opportunities facing families across the country.

The poll also found real differences between parents of younger children compared to older ones:

Parents of older children seem to fare worse than those with younger children – they were more likely to be struggling and higher numbers feared their children would have a worse standard of living than they do.

Among parents with younger children, childcare featured as a major concern – almost a quarter (23%) said it was one of the “major challenges” in their daily lives.

And findings varied significantly between the countries and regions of the UK:

Financial struggles were felt by a much higher proportion of parents in Wales (58%) - and the East Midlands (50 %) compared to London (38%).

Finally, two in five (39%) parents say they have nothing left over at the end of the month after paying for essentials (food and bills) - resorting to credit cards, overdrafts and borrowing from friends and family to make ends meet.

Commenting on the findings, 4Children’s Chief Executive Imelda Redmond said:

“These results issue a triple warning – many families across the country are on the edge, struggling financially and are finding it difficult to be optimistic about their children’s futures.

 “We at 4Children want to find out more about the challenges many of these families face - through our “Thriving or Surviving” inquiry, we’ll listen to them and discuss what can be done to help them thrive, rather than barely survive.”


Notes to editors

For further information or to request an interview, please contact:

Ellie Gellard on 07969 437 066 or

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Opinium. Total sample size was 2,003 parents of children aged 0-25 and expectant parents. Fieldwork was undertaken between 1 and 5 June 2015. The figures have been weighted and are nationally representative.

4Children is the national charity all about children and families. We have spearheaded a joined-up, integrated approach to children’s services and work with a wide range of partners around the country to ensure children and families have access to the services and support they need in their communities. We run Sure Start Children’s Centres as well as family and youth services across Britain.




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