9-year-old girl desperately calls Humanity Torbay charity and begs for work to feed her family after her dad lost his job
The girl told the charity worker on the phone that her mother had died and that her father only recently lost his job as a lorry driver in Torbay, Devon.
A 9-year-old child recently made a heartwrenching phone call to a charity in the UK begging for work so that she can help her family after delayed Universal Credit payments left her father without a job and penniless. The girl told the charity worker on the phone that her mother had died and that her father only recently lost his job as a lorry driver in Torbay, Devon. The family was reportedly left fighting to make ends meet. They were left without any food in the house after her father had to wait for five weeks for his first Universal Credit payment to be made.
The unnamed child called Humanity Torbay, which is a charity that has been set up to provide aid and food banks for the people living in that area, and offered to clean up and make beds so that she could contribute somehow to her family, LADbible reported.
Ellie Waugh, the CEO of the charity, said that she was left in tears by the girl's tragic story. According to Mirror Online, the child also desperately offered to "do anything I can so I can buy my brother and sister a Christmas present."
Waugh 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 child is one of three children who is reportedly being cared for by a single father after their mother died four years ago. Waugh called the child's father after she had her emotional talk with her and was able to reassure the girl that she wouldn't have to work.
Waugh said: "He cried not 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." The father also 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." Volunteers were dispatched from the charity that same evening with food for the family.
Universal Credit is a controversial system of benefits that was supposed to replace six other benefits for the people who are unemployed or on a low income. Waugh said that she has invited Esther McVey, the minister for work and pensions, to visit the area but has not received any response so far. She added: "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."
A spokesperson for the Department of Work and Pensions said in a statement: "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."