Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, has pledged to support struggling families with the launch of the new Family Line, a free-to-use telephone service offering confidential advice and a friendly ear for overworked parents.
Family Line will be operational every weekday evening between 6 pm and 10 pm, and then at weekends from 10 am to 1 pm. Calls are free and topics of conversation might include family arguments, financial woes and difficult relationships.
The idea of the easy-to-use charity service is to intervene early before family issues escalate to violence or deeper, more intense verbal rifts which can cause prolonged mental health issues.
We want to help families face their pressures together.
Says the chief executive of Family Action, David Holmes
The helpline is being managed by the charity Family Action, whose chief executive David Holmes commented: “We want to help families face their pressures together.”
“Usually, simply talking will get everyday family monsters out in the open and that will usually be enough to stop them becoming overwhelming. But when talking to family or friends is not enough, families can now call Family Line.”
Service will tackle ‘hidden monsters’ families face, such as debt and addiction
The campaign aims to support families who struggle with addiction. Image: Wikipedia Commons
Kensington Palace said in a comment: “The campaign highlights the hidden ‘monsters’ that many families face, such as debt, addiction, lack of time together, relationship issues and mental health issues.”
Family Action is celebrating their 150th anniversary as a charity, and was set up by social welfare philanthropists Octavia Hill, William Gladstone and John Ruskin in the middle of the 19th Century.
New research reveals 52% of families struggle dealing with their finances
Alongside announcing the telephone line, Family Action revealed research which showed 52 per cent of families felt stresses to do with finance. A close second, 50 per cent of families admitted their family health was a stressful topic, while work and educational pressure was a stressful topic for 40 per cent of families interviewed.
Other factors at play in causing stress at home included family relationships, communication issues and arguments.
All of us have the right to privacy, and services such as Family Line are confidential
52 percent of families surveyed admitted to struggling to manage their finances alone Image: Pixabay
All of us have the right to privacy, and private services, such as Family Line, in our lives. Privacy is a fundamental human right. As Privacy International explain on RightsInfo: “Privacy is essential to autonomy and the protection of human dignity, serving as the foundation upon which many other human rights are built.”
“Privacy enables us to create boundaries and protect ourselves from unwarranted interference in our lives, allowing us to negotiate who we are and how we want to interact with the world around us.”
“Privacy protects us from arbitrary and unjustified use of power by states, companies and other actors. It lets us regulate what can be known about us and done to us, while protecting us from others who may wish to exert control.”
Many victims of domestic violence are afraid to speak out, for fear of it worsening. In Wales, domestic abuse is experienced by one in three women – but Family Action believe confidential services are central to tackling abuse head-on.
“Family life can be challenging for anyone, and we want to help families face their pressures together,” continued David Holmes.
A recent report by the UN Special Rapporteur condemned the current benefits system in the UK, revealing one in five children live in poverty, causing increased stress on families nationwide.
A fifth of the population live in poverty
Professor Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur, who released a damning report on poverty in UK families
“14 million people, a fifth of the population, live in poverty. Four million of these are more than 50 per cent below the poverty line, and 1.5 million are destitute, unable to afford basic essentials,” Professor Alston said in his report.
He continued: “For almost one in every two children to be poor in twenty-first century Britain is not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster, all rolled into one.”
Additionally, areas where universal credit has been rolled out, have seen a spike in demand for emergency food aid. Former DWP Secretary Esther McVey admitted that some people will be worse off under the new programme than they were before.