Kate Winslet donates £17,000 to help meet a mum’s energy bills

Kate Winslet donates £17,000 to help meet a mum’s energy bills
Kate Winslet donates £17,000 to help meet a mum’s energy bills

Kate Winslet donates £17,000 to help meet a mum’s energy bills

  • Mary McCall
  • BBC News Scotland

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Kate Winslet attending this year’s Wimbledon Championships

Actress Kate Winslet has donated £17,000 to a mother to help meet her daughter’s huge energy bill.

,Clackmananshire County Council, Scotland, had alerted mum, Caroline Hunter, that the value of the energy bill would reach that enormous amount next year.

Daughter Phraya, 12, has cerebral palsy, which affects children’s movement and development, and relies on oxygen to help her with her breathing problems.

Ms Hunter says she was overcome with emotion when she found out about Winslet’s help when she heard a report about her problem on the BBC Scotland service.

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Freya Hunter with her mother Caroline (right) and sister Kitty (left)

Winslet donated the £17,000 via the family’s GoFundMe page, then reached out to Hunter to express her best wishes.

“My family and I have always had a tough road and I’m starting to feel hopeless at this point in my life,” says Ms Hunter, 49.

“When I heard the news of the donation, I burst into tears – I couldn’t even believe it was real. I still wonder if it was real.”

The Hunter family live in a large community house in Telekoultry to accommodate Freya’s device, but this house is not very energy efficient.

It now costs £6,500 a year to run and heat – although Hunter said she has turned off the heaters in most rooms to save money.

Although she is a full-time philanthropist and earns an average salary, she does not receive the same financial support as low-income people.

Hunter is also concerned about possible power outages if the country’s gas supplies fall over the winter – as a result of Russia’s war with Ukraine – which could jeopardize Freya’s welfare efforts.

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Faraya requires expensive medical equipment to be cared for at home

As well as having cerebral palsy, Freya is dependent on oxygen as she has trouble breathing – especially at night.

The family also needs the help of at least two NHS nurses or two social workers.

They also monitor heart rate and blood oxygen levels, and constantly perform suction to clear Freya’s airway.

In recent months, only Freya’s room has been heated to hers and health workers, but Hunter says she’s had to turn it down: “We’re still very cold, although the temperature hasn’t dropped below zero yet. .I remember the health workers constantly turning the heat on only when necessary.”

“The City Council has installed solar panels on the roof to help in the event of a power outage, but I don’t think it will help with the bill.”

What about the others?

Before Winslet’s donation, Hunter was very concerned that she might face fuel shortages amid the UK’s economic crisis.

Although the donation could improve her family’s situation, the high cost of living remains a concern.

A Cornwall Insight report last month forecast that the energy price cap could rise by an average of 73 per cent – but of course these forecasts could be significantly affected by changes in wholesale prices.

Discussions in the media about the tax and spending options available to the government ahead of the forthcoming announcement of its economic plan have been dominated by talk of a “black hole” in the financial world.

Hunter says she hopes the UK and Scottish governments will step in to help families who have healthcare responsibilities for some of their members and may find it difficult to cope with the high cost of living.

“I haven’t talked about my fight for funds, but at the same time I have to make sure Faraya is in good shape,” she adds.

She stressed: “I will get help, but what about others? I wish the government would carry it [فاتورة الطاقة] And do the right thing — a celebrity shouldn’t help.”


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