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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Mystery gift lifts struggling Barrow family

A STRUGGLING family were touched by the kindness of strangers after an anonymous £100 donation.

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GIFT OF KINDNESS: Shannon Hooper, seven, Aidan Hooper, 21 months, and mum Marie Hooper with the £100 donation, which was given to the family through the Evening Mail, by an anonymous reader touched by the family’s plight

Mum-of-two Marie Hooper, from Piel View Grove, Barrow, featured in the Evening Mail on November 12 after speaking out about the difficulties of life below the Living Wage.

On Wednesday, November 20, an envelope arrived at the Evening Mail office, bearing the message: “To Mrs Hooper, I hope this helps in some small way.”

Mrs Hooper, 27, said: “It couldn’t have come at a better time to be honest.

“We need a new tyre for the car after driving over a pot-hole.

“I just wish I knew who it was so we could thank them properly,” she said.

After a motorbike accident left her husband, Kristian Hooper, unable to work, Mrs Hooper was left as the family’s sole provider.

Her 20-hour-a-week contract as a store assistant, which paid £6.36 per hour, meant the family were unable to save money or take seven-year-old Shannon and 21-month-old Aidan on days out.

The living wage is calculated as the minimum amount needed to provide a ‘basic standard of living’ and currently stands at £7.45 per hour outside London, or just over £15,300 per year, based on someone working a 40-hour week.

Mrs Hooper had also calculated that they would be better off financially if she and Mr Hooper split up, which she described as ‘a nasty feeling’, and the stress and anxiety of making ends meet left Mrs Hooper needing sleeping pills.

At the time, she said: “We would be better off if we separated, because Kristian would get income support. I don’t understand why the government would make it better for a family to split up.”

However the future now looks a little brighter.

Mrs Hooper was due to begin a new job at council tax and benefits service Liberata on today.

She said: “It’s only part time but it is better paid and it will help.

“This donation will help tide us over to when I get my wages and with Christmas coming up it’s great.”

The donation is good news for Shannon and Aidan as now the family will be able to enjoy a real family day out once the car is fixed.

Shannon added: “I really want to know who it is because I want to tell them thank you.”

Have your say

What a disgrace this family, if you husband doesnt work he should look after the child. get a grip there a familes much worse off than you, what about single mothers who have no support and work full-time themselves they dont go begging to the locsl paper. if you were a decnt person you wouldnt have accepted the money from the kind person who donated it. We all have bad months, and there are lots of people on minimum wage they cope its a fact of life.

Posted by Also a full-time worker! on 29 November 2012 at 11:00

Lets re-cap. Earns £550 a month and bags almost twice that in benefits!(£1428 total) Pays £160 montly childcare when husband isn't working? Also, how does a £200 fee for windows count as monthly out-goings? If you can't live off what you receive, sell your car,use the bus and ditch the broadband. Some generous person has been taken for a ride!

Posted by John on 27 November 2012 at 21:34

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