Kate Winslet has donated £17,000 ($20,750 USD) to a woman who can’t afford the electricity needed to run her daughter’s life support equipment.
Carolynne Hunter’s 12-year-old daughter Freya has profound cerebral palsy, dependent on an oxygen concentrater and several other machines to stay alive and comfortable. Carolynne was warned earlier this month by the Clackmannanshire council that her energy bills would likely be above £12,000 in 2023, double what they were this year and out of reach for a woman barely able to support her daughter as it is. Hunter works full time at a moderate wage, but still has to live in a council house to accommodate her daughter’s needs and equipment, and the two NHS nurses which come daily to help with her care. Already, Hunter is only heating Freya’s room out of the whole house, to help cut energy costs.
On top of the bill, there are possible planned power outages in her district later this winter. Being without power, and therefore without her supplementary oxygen, for just few hours.
Her local council has offered solar panels to help offset the risk of outages, but they may not be sufficient, and won’t help keep the bills down enough.
So Hunter started a GoFundMe, explaining her situation and introducing her daughter in a video asking for help. Donations trickled in for a while, until Kate Winslet saw the page.
The Titanic actress donated £17,000 via GoFundMe, and sent a personal message wishing the family well. Her attention helped the fundraiser gather attention, and it raised a further £21,000 before Hunter closed it, refusing anything more.
“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?” she said to the BBC.
Kate Winslet is a patron of the Family Haven, a charity formed to help vulnerable families, but made this donation privately, outside the foundation.
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