Celebs and politicians back Mirror campaign to lift 200,000 kids out of poverty

Celebrities and political heavyweights have united to back the Mirror's Give Me Five campaign to end child poverty.

Stars including Corrie's Julie Hesmondhalgh, actor Steven Berkoff and comedian Jason Manford have joined forces support our call for child benefit to be immediately increased by £5.

The move would lift 200,000 youngsters out of destitution – can you also 'give us a hand' with your backing?

Corrie legend Julie Hesmondhalgh said just a fiver could transform lives: "That any child is living in poverty in one of the richest countries in the world is a scandal.

"£5 extra child benefit a week will pull around 200,000 children out of poverty. Please join the Mirror's campaign."

Are you a parent struggling with poverty? Email [email protected]

  • Sign our Give Me Five petition calling on Boris Johnson to end child poverty

  • Mum stuck in tiny 'prison' room with daughters, 9 and 6, scared to use the toilet

Actor Steven Berkoff, 82, added: “Children are our precious legacy.

“They carry in their hearts the world’s agony, are fastest to respond to the crimes that adults inflict upon our vulnerable planet.

“In my area our funding has been cut for youth clubs. We can easily see the results of neglect, the horror of drugs and knife crime, the results of young minds left to drift without guidance. Greta Thunberg may be only one of so many.

“Let’s not hinder more from emerging. We need them. Badly!”

  • Mum goes days without food in icy cold home and struggles sending son to £1 playgroup

Comedian and philanthropist Jason Manford also threw his weight behind the campaign.

He said: “As a child from an under-privileged background, I’ve seen how easy it is for that poor start in life to affect people for the rest of their lives.

“I’ve seen too many friends and family members l grew up with suffering from ill health, depression, struggling to find permanent, fulfilling work, even becoming or involved in crime and drugs.

“That can become a vicious cycle, which can repeat itself for generations. Desperate people do desperate things."

  • Increase child benefit by £5 a week, Boris Johnson, to lift our kids out of poverty

Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson, who was raised by his sister in a council flat, voiced his support for the Give Me Five drive.

He said: "What kind of society singles children out for punitive treatment? I know from experience the difference that a modest cash injection can have on a family’s fortunes.

"That’s why I’m backing the Daily Mirror’s Give Me Five campaign. Our quest as a nation must be to eradicate child poverty, not to stand complacently by as it becomes further entrenched."

Vernon Coaker, former Labour MP for Gedling, Nottinghamshire, added: "Appalling levels of child poverty including here locally. Foodbanks and charity are the policy answer of the Tories. It’s shocking and needs to change. As I say watch how Tory MPs vote in Parliament not what they say. #GiveMeFive "

  • Two kids found sleeping in cupboards in overcrowded space at back of shop unit

“In a country as brilliant as ours, no child should have their future taken away from them before life has even properly started.”

Members of the End Child Poverty network, including the Church of England and the TUC, backed the campaign by posing with their hands up in a picture shared on Twitter .

Daily Mirror political columnist and associate editor Kevin Maguire also posted a selfie with his five fingers up in support of the drive.

He tweeted: "Just a £5 a week increase in child benefit would lift 200,000 kids out of poverty. Please give the #GiveMeFive campaign a hand by Tweeting your pic."

Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group, said the campaign could make a big difference to families.

She added: “The Mirror is bang on when it says we must reinvest in child benefit."

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady urged politicians of all parties to get behind the campaign.

She said: "Child poverty is a stain on our nation’s conscience. It urgently needs fixing.”

Judith Cavanagh, Coordinator for the End Child Poverty, also backed the drive, saying youngsters could be lifted out of penury during this parliament with bold policies such as increasing child benefit.

To sign our petition calling on Boris Johnson to increase child benefit click here .

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