A millionaire who swapped lives with a struggling dad three years ago was so moved by the experience he now pays him £50,000 a year.
Property developers Gemma Sharples and Steven Green appeared on Channel 5’s Rich House Poor House back in 2019. You can see the couple talking about how the experience changed their lives here:
In this episode, Gemma and Steven moved out of their five-bedroom house in North Yorkshire and into Ben and Demi Gowland-Jeffries' much more modest mid-terraced home in County Durham.
As well as switching homes, the families also swapped finances and there was a stark difference.
On an average week, Steven and Gemma had a whopping £1,600 to spend per week after paying bills, while roofer Ben and stay-at-home-mum Demi had just £57.
Taking part in the show - and gaining an insight into how the other half lived - had a huge impact on both families and since then they’ve all remained close.
So much so, that Steven even offered Ben a job where he takes home around £50,000 a year.
Steven told the Sun: "We're really close with Ben and Demi now.
"We offered Ben a position with us job as a sales and marketing executive in our professional training business, so he's part of our team.
"He's getting on really well. His wage when he come on board with us was £10k and he's now making around about a £50k salary.
"He's bought a new motorbike and is doing his driving lessons at the minute, Demi's set up her own beauty business and they've actually moved into a bigger house and have now got another child."
Reflecting on filming the show, and how ‘intense’ things felt, he went on: "It wasn't until I actually went into their house, lived in that close proximity with them and slept in their bed that I really get a sense of what these people were going through.
"Demi's mum initially told us and then one of Ben's friends in the pub told us that Ben used to only eat one meal a day in order to be able to give Lillie what she needed."
He added: "It took me and Gemma back to our harder times when we particularly struggled.
"It was really weird. I really felt like I knew these people even though I'd never met them."
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