A DEVASTATED mum-of-four has told how she can’t afford Christmas as soaring costs leave her eating her kids’ scraps to survive.
Victoria Walker rarely ever turns on heating in her family’s home in Bath, Somerset, in a desperate bid to save money.
And as the cost of living crisis took hold, Victoria was forced to eat only leftovers to get through the day,
She told ITV: “Unless I really have to, I won’t eat.
“I fill myself up with tea and coffee. I personally would like the children to eat.”
Victoria’s 11-year-old daughter has offered up her own pocket money to help her family afford basic food supplies like bread and milk.
“It just makes me sad, it breaks my heart,” the mum added.
“Christmas is looking sad for me.”
Victoria, like many others in the UK, is receiving help from charity Action for Children.
Helen Stockwell from the charity says she’s never seen anything like this before.
She said: “I have families who are saying they cannot come to outdoor play because they can’t afford to get coats for the children to keep warm when they are outside.
The charity’s recent study revealed 98 per cent of parents worry about money – and Christmas is only adding pressure.
One in five children may offer their pocket money to cover the cost of the festive season.
Families can seek help paying bills this festive season.
Other ways to get help with the cost of living
In May, the government announced millions of households would receive £400 to help with their energy bills this winter.
The £400 payment is being split into six monthly instalments between October this year and March, 2023.
The first two payments were worth £66 and the remaining four are worth £67.
For the majority of energy customers, their monthly bills are automatically discounted.
However, households with traditional pre-payment meters are being sent vouchers to redeem at their nearest top-up point instead.
There are plenty of other ways to get help with bills on top of the government’s £400 energy support.
For example, when temperatures plummet those in low-income households can get a £25 payment.
The cold weather payments are made in locations where residents experience continuous below-zero weather.
The payment is made automatically, including to those on Universal Credit, for each seven-day period of low temperatures from November 1 to March 31.
Struggling households can also get a £150 discount on their energy bill this winter through the Warm Home Discount scheme.
The discount is available to those on the lowest incomes to help with rising costs.
Meanwhile, millions on Universal Credit and benefits will have already received a Christmas bonus.