Growing Up Poor


Episode 2 Lads



The second part of this documentary follows three young men trying – and failing – to make ends meet. Craig is a trained welder but wrestles with the idea of joining the Army – the only career that pays for lads from his estate in Rotherham. To his shame, he’s forced to apply for jobseeker’s allowance because the cupboards are completely bare.

Londoner Frankie dreams of university yet can’t get a job because of his criminal record, while in Birmingham, Wes spends his days on street corners with his unemployed mates, wishing he were a better father to his one-year-old son. Once again, the film-maker is careful to reserve judgement, leaving you to draw your own disheartening conclusions.


The documentary about youngsters facing poverty concludes with three teenage boys who are on the cusp of adulthood and are all surviving on less than £10 a day. Wes is determined to be a good father, but is struggling financially to provide the support his son needs, while Craig may be forced to leave home after his mother loses her job, and Frankie is looking forward to a better future after enduring life on the streets.