5-speed listening (Bed Poverty - Level 3)

'Bed poverty' on the rise in the UK



Medium (British English)

Medium (N. American English)



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A children's charity has reported that more than a million children in the UK live in 'Bed poverty'. This means they have no bed of their own to sleep in. They either sleep on the floor or share a bed with parents or siblings. The charity, Barnardo's, said bed poverty is a result of people becoming poorer. The cost of living has greatly increased in the UK. Rising food prices and higher gas and electricity bills mean people on low incomes cannot afford basic items. Barnardo's said for many families, a bed is now a "luxury" item. It said around 700,000 children are sharing beds, while 440,000 children sleep on the floor. This makes children tired, so it is difficult for them to concentrate at school.

Lynn Perry, the CEO of Barnardo's, said bed poverty was just one sign that many people in Britain are struggling. She said: "Bed poverty is just one aspect of child poverty." She added that it highlights the painful challenges that many parents face. She said parents do not have enough money "to afford the essentials needed to raise happy and healthy children". She said: "Families in crisis are having to prioritise essentials such as food, heating and electricity over things like replacing mouldy bedding or fixing a rotten or broken bed." Ms Perry warned that bed poverty is affecting children's mental health. She called on the government to take "urgent action to address these deep-rooted issues".

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