An old friend, Ross Hendry, is the chief exec of Spurgeon’s Children’s Charity, a UK organisation (no, that’s not him on the left, that’s Spurgeon).  The charity was founded by its illustrious namesake, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and continues today to do great work for the most deprived and at risk kids in the country. In particular, they do a lot of work to support children with parents in prison.

They have just produced 2017 The Parent Report, which was produced to mark the organisation’s 150th Anniversary, highlights the fears many parents have in bringing up their children. Just under 2000 people with children aged under 18 were surveyed.

Two stats in particular stood out as particularly concerning:

  • When asked to identify their 3 biggest concerns, 20% of young parents (aged between 16-24) mentioned the prospect of their children self-harming or committing suicide
  • 42% of parents felt that they were not able to get the support they needed in bringing up their children.

If that doesn’t alert us to the reality of a malaise, I don’t know what will. This is what Ross says about the report.

This research shows that parents of all ages and backgrounds are concerned for their children. And many of the most vulnerable are struggling the most. This is true across society. But for youngsters facing challenges, who are caring for a relative or who have a parent in prison, it’s much worse. These are the families we work with, day in, day out and the need for services like ours is increasing.

There is much here to take note of as a society. Not least because, incredibly, there are 3.9 million UK children living in poverty!! It needs a broad-based response of course. But one real option for most of us should at least be to support Spurgeon’s in its vital work. Details for doing that can be found here.

But in conclusion, I love this quote from Spurgeon, quoted in the report.

Hope itself is like a star – not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.

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