A young family who live on £5 per day and sleep in their coats have had nearly £10,000 raised by fundraisers who were moved by their story.
A new Dispatches documentary airing on Monday night shows the sobering realities for families below the UK poverty line and the desperate measures parents undertake to provide for their children.
‘Growing up poor: Britain’s breadline kids’ includes footage of a young family in a three bedroom flat in Cambridge, struggling to make ends meet.
It tells the story of Charlotte, a mother of two, who was forced into emergency accommodation after fleeing an abusive relationship, and now in dire financial straits seven months on.
8 year old Courtney and her family live off £5 a day - they rely on a food bank to eat and wear coats to bed when there's no money for heating.— Channel 4 Dispatches (@C4Dispatches) November 30, 2019
This is Britain today, where more than 4 million children are growing up in poverty. pic.twitter.com/faYNbL4ZD5
Charlotte, 30, says she has to live on just £5-a-day child benefit and rely on food banks.
She has had to take a loan out to pay for food for Christmas, rent and bills because she got behind on rent while waiting for their first Universal Credit payment.
Delays in the system meant that they have to wait more than a month for money to come through.
Her daughter Courteney, 8, takes care of her mum, who struggles to cope, along with her younger brother Nathaniel, 5.
But their housing benefit was cut off because they have three bedrooms - government rules state that the two children should be sharing a room.
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Courtney and Nathanial had to sleep in their coats to keep warm at night because the family could not afford heating to keep them warm.
Although in the clip Charlotte receives a "phone call from Santa" telling her that he'll be coming to them on the 24th with presents, Courteney worries that they'll get hardly any on Christmas Day.
But that likely won’t be the case this year thanks to the GoFundMe page which was set up by a woman named Kimberley Tipper, who was moved by the family’s story.
She wrote: “ I’m raising money for the families who did the documentary on dispatches, they live on £5 a day and are living with next to nothing.
“No parent or family should have to face this... if you cant donate money but have toys that are in good condition and would like to donate please message me... I am willing to collect, I will wrap them and deliver them to this family... please share even If you cant help out.. Thank you”
It is believed that the production company are getting in touch with Ms Tipper to sort out getting the money to the family, who are now living in accommodation in Hull.
The film looks at a handful of children, including a depressed teenager who lives with her family in sheltered accommodation and struggles with suicidal thoughts.
More than four million British children are growing up hungry.
A recent study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows one in six people in modern Britain are living in poverty.
Growing up poor: Britain's breadline kids airs tonight at 10pm on Channel 4.