A good act that went awry and drastically altered the life of a single mother left her with just £20 in her bank account.
Kellie Radcliffe, 45, who has a severe back ailment that occasionally requires the use of a wheelchair, claimed that without the assistance of a charity, she would be “totally lost” due to the rising expense of living.
The Droyslden woman saw an old woman had collapsed in front of her house and hurried over to assist her. Kellie assisted her in getting up, but as she did so, she slid a disc and damaged her back.
She told the Manchester Evening News that the bad news arrived soon after she learnt that her father had passed away, and that she now finds it difficult to walk or stand for extended periods of time while she awaits surgery.
Kellie had additional challenges when she was forced to quit her accounting position in order to care for her autistic 11-year-old son. She struggled to pay the bills and was left with just £20 in her account. These days, she only eats food from a nearby food bank to survive.
The mother said that the income support payment she receives is insufficient to meet her needs.
Kellie eats just one meal a day to make sure her children have enough to eat.
“I’ve got £20 left and that’s not even going to see my gas and electric,” she said. “I can’t buy any food.
“I don’t drive, I don’t smoke or drink. It’s ridiculous. You get to the point where you think, ‘How can I cut back anymore without actually living the life we have?’
“We’re not living, we’re surviving. If I cut back anymore, what is that going to do to our lives?
She turned to the charity Feedo Needo, which offers basic necessities like food and clothes, for help and now works there as a volunteer.
“When things started getting really difficult, I started going once a week to get a food parcel,” she said. “You can just turn up.
“You get something to eat and a hot meal. You feel embarrassed by the situation, but no one should be expected to live like that. It’s humiliating.
“I’m depending on it. Without them, we would go without food. I try and hide it as much as I can from the kids, but it’s quite often that I go without food because I would rather give them something to eat. Feedo Needo is the only meal I get a day.
Talking about her volunteer work, she said: “When I was back on my feet a little bit, I felt like it didn’t feel right that I couldn’t pay anything back.
“Without Feedo Needo I would be completely lost. After spending time in hospital due to my slipped disc, volunteers came to visit me as soon as I got home and brought me food supplies, which I was grateful for.
“A lot of people talk about the cost-of-living crisis, but I don’t think many understand the true extend to the impact it is having on millions of households. We haven’t been able to turn our oven on for six weeks because we can’t afford the energy bills.
“We are being forced to choose between energy and food which is an awful position to be in. I don’t think a lot of people understand how restricting this is – we can only eat meals if they can be cooked in the air-fryer, slow cooker or microwave which is very hard.
“You’re not holding up mentally but it’s just a way of life. It’s just the way we’re programmed to having to live.
“We have no choice, we have to get on with it. I can go to the doctors and get put on antidepressants, but what is that going to do?
“We’re having to live hand to mouth constantly. It’s a massive stress and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.”