Winter Appeal 2023: Linda’s Story

We visited Pipworth School, Sheffield to talk about the cost-of-living struggles families face and how we're making a difference to the school community.

Last month, we visited Pipworth School to find out more about how the cost-of-living crisis is impacting families in the school community. Grandparent carer, Linda, told us about how her finances are stretched after taking custody of two of her grandchildren.

We were delighted to be able to help Linda with winter essentials for her granddaughters and are incredibly grateful to her for sharing her story and speaking about some of the financial and emotional struggles families like hers face.

A huge thank you also goes to Maria and Millie from Pipworth School for talking to us about the difference Yorkshire Children’s Charity have made to the wider school community at Pipworth. 

Watch the video: 


Linda – “The daily struggles are food, entertainment, winter clothing. Sometimes I feel as though, if I can’t give them everything they want, that I’m failing.”

Millie – “Pipworth School is quite high in socioeconomic deprivation and the children here are quite needy children, the families, even though they do their best to support their children, they do struggle.”

Maria – “We are a school with an amazing community of children who really do want to learn, but some of their family circumstances can be really quite challenging so coming to school for them is an opportunity to have a break from the chaos they live in. We’ve done lots of work with our children about rights, they have a right to an education, they have a right to be cared for, they have a right to housing, they have a right to food. We’re really working with the children on telling us if things aren’t okay.”

Linda – “I’m Linda Roebuck, I’ve recently got custody of my two youngest granddaughters aged 5 and 9. Up until September last year when I actually got full custody of the girls, me and the girls were surviving on just over £200 a fortnight. After that you’ve got your rent to pay, your gas to pay, your electricity – they’ve gone through the roof.

You daren’t use your tumble drier at home because you don’t know how much the electricity’s going to cost, then you’re sat there panicking, are their uniforms going to be dry?

Every day is a different battle, from getting up to going to bed, every day is a different battle.”

Millie: “The children at Pipworth, they actually like school. The unfortunate thing is how they come to school. And they are very proud children, so when they know that they haven’t got the right shoes on, they’re scuffed or they’re torn, because they’re so embarrassed, they try to hide it. “

So for our children, we try to make them all have an experience they haven’t had before.”

Maria: “We’re really fortunate that Yorkshire Children’s Charity have helped and supported us with this, so for example we went to Cannon Hall Farm last year and the children were just delighted, to run around, listen to the animals and see them first hand. When we came back to school and they were doing categories of animals in science, they actually could talk about it with real life experience.

Linda: “Do we have a day out, do we jump on a train and go to Cleethorpes? Or do we catch a bus and go to Rivelin for the day? That £8 that it might cost me altogether will feed is for two days, if, at a stretch, and we just have the basics.”

Millie – “Yorkshire Children’s Charity, the work that they do to support children with shoes and coats… if we had that in this school, if parents knew they don’t have to ask for it, the charity will provide it… they would come easier. They’d feel like, I’m allowed, I’m allowed to come and ask because I’m not begging. There’s a charity saying we want to help your child.”

Linda “You lay in bed, sometimes you can sleep, sometimes you can’t, sometimes you just lay there and you think – what are they going to have for tea? What can I afford to buy? I need uniform, I need shoes, I need coats, I need to put food on the table when I get home…”

Charlotte Farrington, Yorkshire Children’s Charity CEO (off camera) “We can help you, with the shoes and the coats”

Linda: “You are kidding! Oh my god!”

Maria: “I think what’s really lovely about the way that the charity works and how they offer support to families is that the parents are empowered to be that person that gives that gifts, that they chose gifts. It’s not enforced upon them, they have an entitlement to choose for their children.”

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