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Variety Launches Warm Hearts Appeal To Help Disadvantaged Kids Sleep Easy This Winter


Variety – the Children’s Charity, has launched its
annual Warm Hearts
Winter Appeal
to provide vital beds and bedding for over
500 Kiwi kids living in hardship this winter.

The
appeal, which runs to the end of July, shines a light on
children living in New Zealand’s poorest communities,
whose health is impacted because they don’t have a bed of
their own.

The effects of COVID-19 have only further
exacerbated the financial situation for many of these Kiwi
families. Variety is seeing an unparalleled level of demand
for help across the country, as families struggle to make
ends meet and keep their homes warm for this
winter.

Susan Glasgow, Variety Chief Executive says,
“The nights are getting longer and colder, and this winter
is particularly hard for one in five tamariki living in
low-income households without access to basic
necessities.

“Many of these kids don’t have their
own bed or access to warm bedding – having to share beds
due to overcrowding, or sleep on mouldy mattresses or even
couches. And with the pandemic placing additional financial
strain on families, these children need help more than ever
to get through this winter.”

The lack of beds and
warm bedding has a detrimental impact on a child’s health.
Around 30,000 children are hospitalised every year from
preventable, poor-quality housing-related diseases like
asthma, pneumonia and bronchiolitis, with hospitalisation
rates peaking in winter.

Auckland-based paediatrician,
Dr Alison Leversha, has witnessed this harsh reality on the
ground and knows how much a warm bed can make a
difference.

“Young children are especially
vulnerable to the effects of poor housing as they usually
spend more time indoors. When they’re sleeping in these
harmful conditions, they’re susceptible to avoidable
hospitalisations caused by respiratory diseases. More than 1
in 3 hospital admissions in zero to 14 year olds were due to
these preventable illnesses, which shouldn’t be the case
at all for our tamariki.

“And the effect on their
lives doesn’t end there. Health issues during childhood
not only have immediate consequences, such as missing out on
school, parents taking time off work and spending scarce
resources on the doctor, but can also have an impact on
long-term health outcomes, continuing well into
adulthood,” adds Leversha.

In light of these dire
concerns, Variety’s Warm Hearts Appeal is aiming to raise
$190,000 to provide beds and warm bedding for 553 children
this year for its Beds for Kids programme run in partnership
with the government’s Healthy Homes Initiative
(HHI).

“This is a worthwhile cause that caring Kiwis
should consider supporting, so that our most
poverty-stricken children can sleep through the night and
keep warm like every other Kiwi kid,” concludes
Glasgow.

Donate
to Variety’s Warm Hearts Winter Appeal until the 31st of
July.

$45 will fund a warm blanket

$80 will fund
a bedding pack

$343 will fund a single bed and bedding
pack

$688 will fund a bunk bed and bedding
pack

© Scoop Media

 



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