How do you choose which children’s activities to carry on with during a cost of living crisis?

“We’re in the middle of a cost of living crisis! Performing arts classes are just a bit of fun, they’re not a must-have.”

“My child can live without a singing or drama class, but swimming lessons will teach them a skill they’ll use for the rest of their life.”

Do either of those sound familiar?

Have you ever found yourself saying something along those lines during the current cost of living crisis, when you’ve been trying to decide which classes and activities your child can carry on with, and which they’ll need to drop?

Skills for life

People instantly understand the fundamental life skills children get from swimming lessons.

What they don’t always realise until they’ve experienced the Little Voices effect for themselves is the huge range of life skills children get from our classes, and how helping them with their socioemotional development in this unprecedented post-covid era helps them in all areas of their life – including having the confidence they need in the first place to even take part in other activities.

Here’s a story of how one family went from “We might need to drop Aaliyah’s Little Voices lessons”, to “No matter what happens with the cost of living, we won’t stop Aaliyah’s Little Voices lessons!”

Meet Aaliyah

Nine-year-old Aaliyah started lessons with Little Voices Central Manchester when they first opened their doors in Autumn 2022.

At that time, Aaliyah completely lacked any sort of self-confidence, and new situations were a constant source of anxiety for both her and her parents, usually ending with tears all round.

Fast forward to October 2023, and her mum tells us she’s like a different child.

Where once, starting a new year at school involved detailed planning to try and contain Aaliyah’s inevitable meltdown, this time she just marched into her new class with a big smile on her face – and didn’t look back!

The same when it came to her swimming lessons, which she only started recently. Once upon a time, Aaliyah would have been anxious and upset at the mere thought of starting something new, while getting her in the water would have been an emotional challenge all round.

But this time, she surprised everyone. And not only did she not make a fuss, but she also visibly enjoyed the whole experience!

Young asian girl standing in front of a Little Voices banner with her Little Voices tutor. They are both smiling. This photo was taken during the 2023 cost of living crisis in the UK.

“You guys teach them how to live, how to cope in situations that are new to them”

“The only thing that’s changed in her little life is going to Little Voices”, Mahvish, Aaliyah’s mum told us. “You guys teach them how to live, how to cope in situations that are new to them.”

One incident Mahvish tells us she’ll never forget is the time Aaliyah took the presents she’d brought for her Little Voices teachers off her mum and ran off to hand them out herself, leaving Mahvish sobbing – but this time, they were tears of pure joy.

“Aaliyah would never give out presents herself”, Mahvish continued. “I always had to do it, with Aaliyah glued to my side the whole time.”

And while that’s the kind of thing lots of us might take for granted and not think twice about, to Mahvish and her husband, it spoke volumes – and was a pivotal point for the whole family.

Like all of us, the cost of living crisis has taken its toll and Aaliyah’s parents have had to think carefully about where they can make savings, admitting they were considering stopping Little Voices.

But that night, they decided there and then that no matter what happens, Aaliyah’s lessons with Little Voices will continue.

“Children have to learn the skills you teach them so they can go out and do those other clubs and classes,” Mahvish continues. “I can’t believe you’ve only been in our area for a year – I feel like Little Voices has been in our lives for ever, what you do is just amazing.

“Aaliyah’s journey with Little Voices has been beautiful!”

A “must-have” – even in a cost of living crisis

You’ll hear us talk a lot about the benefits of singing and drama, but nothing says it better than hearing first-hand how what we do actually changes people’s lives – not just children’s, but their parents’, too.

And how, when the cost of living is still very much at the forefront of all our minds, Little Voices is considered a “must-have” by so many.

If you have a child like Aaliyah who needs some help with their self-confidence, click here and book a free trial lesson so you can experience the Little Voices effect for yourself.