Saturday, November 15, 2008
CHILDREN IN NEED UPDATE
In spite of the 'Credit Crunch' Terry Wogan broke all records and raised neary £21 million with his Children in Need TV marathon which ended early this morning. With other money raised by thousands or people across the UK, the total should reach nearly £40 million, which is amazing when so many families are struggling to cope with rising costs, unemployment and job uncertainty.
This has cheered me up after a depressing week reading the horrific details of the extreme cruelty meted out by a mother and her boyfriend to a tragic little toddler Baby P, and the stabbing of 2 small boys by their mother, who lived alone.
Today I attended a Conference Hope 4 Marriage in Bedford organised by the Bedford Community Family Trust who aim to build strong relationships for a better community and prevent relationship breakdown by supporting couples and families.
In recent years it has been fashionable to criticise the institution of marriage but research shows that married couples are far more likely to stay together than unmarried couples. Unmarried parents are 4-5 times more likely to break up. By a child's 5th birthday, 8% of UK married parents have split up compared to 52% of cohabitees, and 25% of those who marry after the birth (Kiernan 1999) Also 92% of 15 year olds want to settle down and marry one day (Sex Under Sixteen, Family Education Trust Research Report 2000).
Having been married and divorced after my husband's desertion when my children were still young I know only too well how hard it is to bring up young children alone. It costs the State a fortune to support lone parents and we must provide more financial support to help families stay together and provide a stable environment in which children can thrive, be happy and develop their full potential.