A dad who lost his job has claimed that he had to resort to eating one meal a day so that he could feed his son in the midst of the cost of living crisis.
Wayne Baker, 38, lost his job in construction in November along with half of his team, after eight years on the job, which has put a major strain on his family's finances.
Wayne, from Thurrock, Essex, and his partner Zoe, who works part-time in childcare, were hesitant to go to a food bank at first, but were left with no choice when they found themselves 'worrying about where the next meal was coming from.'
He told PA: “My partner was quite hesitant because we were not putting stuff in, we were taking from it,” he said.
“When I went, it was hard to swallow. I think I cried the first time I went, I felt quite embarrassed as I thought: 'Really, I’ve got to this stage?'"
Wayne has since been to food banks twice.
Other times, Wayne finds himself eating just one meal a day to make sure his son and partner are being fed well.
"One week, I had toast for a week straight, for dinner," he said.
"I would make sure my son ate three meals a day and my partner because I’m not working, so I think I don’t deserve to eat as much as the others as he is going to school and my partner is going to work so they need the energy, and I have lost three stone in the past two months.
“We also had no heating for three weeks because we could not afford it.”
After selling a computer, a TV, and 'jewellery that has been handed down' just to make a bit of money, Wayne has still accumulated over £2,000 worth of debt and been given an eviction notice.
After going to Thurrock Council for help, Wayne was pointed in the direction of crowdfunding platform Beam.
Beam create an individual fundraising profile – which is also known as a campaign – to help people struggling with social issues including homelessness and migration, with members of the public donating to support them with their goals.
Wayne started off with a goal of just under £600 and in the space of eight days, he reached his target.
The funds will go towards Wayne's Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, a laptop to complete his training and apply for jobs and safety boots.
“I didn’t expect the money to be raised so quickly by roughly 30 people,” he added.
“It just shows that even though there is a crisis going on, people are still willing to help. It’s a nice feeling and hopefully when I am back on my feet I can do the same for someone else.
“I could not really ask for help or money from friends or family as everyone is struggling with the cost of living right now.”
More information about Mr Baker’s fundraiser can be found here.
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