Universal Credit: Girl, 9, forced to beg work after mum died and dad lost job

A girl of nine begged for work to feed her family after ­Universal Credit left her jobless dad skint.
In a heartbreaking phone call, she told how her mum had died and there was barely any food at home.
She said: “I’ll do anything. I don’t mind cleaning floors, making beds.”
The desperate nine-year-old girl revealed her mum had died, her dad lost his job and they were going hungry as delays in his Universal Credit had plunged them into poverty.
Ellie Waugh, who took the heartbreaking call yesterday, said the ­youngster was “really worried because her family didn’t have any money”.
She offered to do “any” job to help buy food and get her two younger siblings Christmas presents.
The little girl added: “I don’t want to let them down.”
Ellie said: “I can’t tell you how horrendous it was hearing a child beg for work in this day and age.
“She told me, ‘I don’t mind cleaning floors, making beds. My daddy has always worked and he says you have to work to get things. I’ll do anything I can so I can buy my brother and sister a Christmas present. I can cook and I don’t mind working on a Saturday and Sunday or after school.’ After the call I just cried. Hearing that is like we’ve gone back to Victorian times.”
The phone call exposed the harsh reality of life on the hated Universal Credit, which the stubborn Tories refuse to axe despite the obvious ­hardship it is causing.
Five weeks ago, the girl’s HGV driver dad was made redundant but is still waiting for his first benefit payment to clear.
He was raising the three children alone in the Torbay area of Devon after his wife died four years ago. The girl contact Humanity Torbay, which provides food banks and support for the vulnerable.
CEO Ellie reassured the brave child she would not have to work. She called her dad, who wants to remain nameless, and promised food and support.
Ellie said: “He cried because he was embarrassed but because he is proud of her. Proud that she loved her brother and sister so much she wanted to help them. He said they were literally down to their last few bits in the freezer.”
Ellie and her volunteers visited the family with food parcels last night.
Offers of support also flooded in, with strangers donating Christmas turkeys and presents.
The dad said: “I’m very proud of my daughter and ­horrified I’ve been reduced to this. It’s humbling that people want to help us.”
Ellie has invited Theresa May and work and pensions secretary Esther McVey to visit her charity, but is yet to receive a response.
She said: “I want them to see the reality of what Universal Credit is doing, to see the look of ‘no hope’ in people’s eyes when they come asking for food.”
Lib Dem MP Christine Jardine said: “It is heartbreaking that a young girl was so worried about her family she begged a charity for work. Tory ­ministers cannot put their hands over their ears and pretend they can’t hear her.”
A DWP spokesperson said: “We will look into this case urgently. No one has to wait for support if they need it before their first Universal Credit payment. Advances have increased to up to 100% and we are paying housing benefit for an additional 2 weeks when people move onto Universal Credit.
“We have listened to concerns about Universal Credit delivery and funding, and in response have announced a £4.5 billion cash boost. We will be increasing the amount people can earn on Universal Credit by £1,000 before their payment begins to be reduced and we are providing a ‘run-on’, worth on average £200, to claimants moving onto the system to ensure a smooth transition.
“We also recently announced a £39 million partnership with Citizens Advice to provide Universal Support, which will help people make and manage their Universal Credit claim."
Universal Credit: Girl, 9, forced to beg work after mum died and dad lost job Universal Credit: Girl, 9, forced to beg work after mum died and dad lost job Reviewed by Your Destination on November 07, 2018 Rating: 5

No comments