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Miracles supports families living in poverty and helps them through crisis situations – our aim is to mitigate the impact poverty has on the family whilst they are dealing with the crisis.

What is poverty


Poverty impacts the lives of millions of families in the UK. Poverty means living every day with the stress of not knowing how you will pay the bills.


What is poverty?


  • Relative income poverty - where households have less than 60% of contemporary median income - £16,362  (ONS 2017)

  • Absolute  income poverty - where households have less than 60% of the median income in 2010/11, uprated by inflation - £13,920 (ONS 2013)

  • Material deprivation - where you can’t afford certain essential items and activities

  • Destitution - where you can’t afford basics such as shelter, heating and clothing.


Government statistics now show 4.1 million children living in relative poverty compared with 4 million the previous year, accounting for more than 30 per cent of children. UK Child poverty is now the highest it has been since the 2008 financial crisis and the overall number of people in poverty in Britain has risen to 10.4 million, the highest level this decade. Over half of all children living in London live in poverty. A very high percentage live in Tower Hamlets – next door to two of the most affluent areas in the world – Canary Wharf and the City of London.  Miracles directly supported many of these children through the art  project 50 children – 50 artists. 

Some of the consequences of poverty are:

  • Health problems

  • Shorter life expectancy

  • Lower educational achievement

  • Biological effects – poverty early in a child’s life can have a harmful effect on their brain development

  • Housing problems 

  • Being a victim or perpetrator of  crime

  • Drug or alcohol problems 

  • Homelessness

  • Teenage parenthood

  • Relationship and family problems


What causes poverty?

  • Unemployment and low-paid jobs

  • Illness

  • Low levels of skills or education 

  • An ineffective benefit system 

  • High costs

  • Discrimination

  • Weak relationships

  • Poverty itself

  • Abuse, trauma, neglect or chaotic lives: the use of drugs and alcohol can deepen and prolong poverty as can childhood abuse which can impact on mental health in adult life and lead to unemployment.

  • Prison: Prisoners are likely to suffer – having a criminal record makes it very difficult to obtain work.

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