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Kate Winslet explains why she paid family's £17,000 energy bill

Ali Condon

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| Last updated 

Kate Winslet explains why she paid family's £17,000 energy bill

Featured Image Credit: BBC / @cazmac38/ Twitter

As if you needed another reason to love her, Kate Winslet has explained why she felt compelled to donate £17,000 to a family that were struggling with their energy bills.

The Titanic actress said she was 'absolutely destroyed' when she learned about mum Carolynne Hunter, 49, and her 12-year-old daughter Freya, who lives with complex health problems and requires full-time oxygen and at-home nursing care.

Because of the 'huge amount of equipment' needed to keep her daughter alive, Carolynne's household bills were already significantly high.

Kate Winslet said that Carolynne and Freya's story 'absolutely destroyed' her.   (Credit: PA Images)
Kate Winslet said that Carolynne and Freya's story 'absolutely destroyed' her. (Credit: PA Images)

When the Scottish mum was told that a new energy price cap could see her bills skyrocket to an eye-watering £17,700, she took to the internet for help, setting up a GoFundMe account and calling on the government to foot the bill of unaffordable price hikes.

"Our families are going to suffer, there’s going to be a mass crisis for the NHS and social care and children will die if their families are not able to pay for it," said Carolynne.

Speaking to the BBC earlier this year, she had shared: "I've been worrying how to afford to pay for the amount of energy I need for the past seven months.

"The level of care Freya is having is probably on par with what would be happening in an intensive care ward."

After hearing Carolynne and Freya's story, Kate Winslet decided to help them out, generously donating £17,000 to their fundraiser.

Kate's donation, in turn, made Carolynne's story front page news, drawing even more donors to her GoFundMe page.

The mum has now shut down the fundraiser, after receiving a whopping total of £37,000 from generous Samaritans.

Speaking about her decision to donate to Carolynne and Freya's household expenses, Kate Winslet revealed that the family's story 'absolutely destroyed' her.

Carolynne's daughter needs round-the-clock care. Credit: PA
Carolynne's daughter needs round-the-clock care. Credit: PA

"I thought, on what planet is anyone going to let that happen? This is completely, completely wrong," she told BBC's Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg.

"It was just wrong to me that this woman was going to suffer and that she should have been in any way as a mother forced to make such a heartbreaking decision because she simply didn't have the support and couldn't pay the bills. I just couldn't let that happen."

After it was confirmed that the enormous donation really was from the Hollywood actress, Carolynne 'burst into tears'.

Earlier this month, she told the BBC: "Our journey as family has been very traumatic and I just feel done at this point in my life.

"When I heard about the money I just burst into tears - I thought it wasn't even real. I'm still thinking is this real?"

Topics: Celebrity, Health, Money

Ali Condon
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