After recently learning about George Orwell (in year 7 at Allerton High School, Leeds) I read about his book, The Road to Wigan Pier written in 1937 about poverty in Britain. It made me think how little has changed in the UK. Poverty and child poverty is still an issue, with footballers like Marcus Rashford having to fight so that poorer children can eat one decent meal.
“One in five (22%) households in the UK have an income below the poverty line, after their housing costs are taken into account. 31% of children live in households below the poverty line (after housing costs.)” Child Poverty Action group.
With the current government, child poverty is on the increase and looks like it will continue to do so. With this knowledge and inspired by Marcus Rashford, I decided to try and do something.
As part of my studies, my parents went with me to visit Wigan Pier and I realised it was on the canal route from Leeds to Liverpool. As a regular cyclist, I use part of that route often. It is on a canal, quite flat and no dangerous roads. I decided to set myself the challenge of cycling the 150km from Leeds to Wigan for the charity Child Poverty Action group.
I am planning on doing the cycle ride on the 5th and 6th March 2022 to coincide with the 85th birthday of The Road to Wigan Pier being published. I have set a realistic target of raising £3000, but I would like to raise much more. The more I can raise the more we can all help.
Leeds City Council’s ‘Best Council Plan’ highlights our commitment to being a Child Friendly City. Through our vision outlined in the ‘Leeds Children and Young People’s Plan 2018-2023’, we will improve the outcomes for children and young people in the city. Healthy Holidays is for primary and secondary aged children who are eligible for free school meals. The council and our partners provide a fantastic range of clubs, activities and events and last year we reached thousands of children whilst opening the doors to new places and projects. We are committed to challenging child poverty in Leeds, which includes an acknowledgment of the scale and impact of poverty on children, young people and families. Find out more: