Public urged to do a #LittleGoodDeed to help struggling parents

A coalition of 18 charities is launching a campaign to encourage people to help a parent or carer they know who may be struggling during lockdown.

Almost two-thirds of parents of under-fives have felt they are letting their children down or are inadequate as parents during the latest lockdown, polling suggests.

Some 64% of parents said they felt they had sometimes let their children down during recent weeks, and 63% said they sometimes feel inadequate, according to a small survey commissioned by the charity Kindred.

More than half of those surveyed (54%) said they have struggled to cope over the last month, and 55% have felt lonely.

But 57% say they would be uncomfortable asking for help and a third feel they would be judged if they ask for support.

The YouGov polling, of 6,632 UK adults including 577 parents of children aged four and under between January 27 and 31, also found that more than three-quarters (79%) of the public would do a good deed to support parents.

A coalition of 18 charities is supporting Kindred’s campaign to encourage people to do a #LittleGoodDeed to help a parent or carer they know who may be struggling during lockdown.

This could include phoning for a chat, posting a note through the door or setting up a children’s online activity to help give parents a break.

Saira Khan, TV presenter and mother of two, said: “#LittleGoodDeeds like this can be life-changing.

“Right now, parents of babies and very young children in particular have never been more isolated.

“Many are feeling alone, others overworked and under-supported, lots struggle with home schooling, working and juggling multiple roles at the same time.

“This research shows you are not alone – 80% of people across the UK want to help.”

Action for Children chief executive Melanie Armstrong said: “The pandemic has triggered a crisis for families on an unprecedented scale, with parents and carers feeling overwhelmed without their usual support from friends and loved ones.

“We know that fear of being judged is a real barrier to people seeking help and right now those caring for babies and young children in particular are feeling especially isolated.

“Many are overworked and under-supported, struggling with home schooling as they juggle multiple roles at home and are worrying that their children aren’t getting enough social stimulation.

“Anyone who needs a bit of help in these tough times has to know that there are places and people they can turn to. This is why we’re encouraging people to do a #littlegooddeed today by reaching out to someone to ask how they’re feeling and how they can help.”

Vicky Nevin, senior policy and public affairs officer at the NSPCC, said: “During lockdown, increased stress, social isolation and mental health problems are harmful to both parents and children.

“In the same way we have looked after older and vulnerable neighbours throughout the pandemic, we must also look out for children in our communities.”

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