As everybody is aware I don’t know anybody has not got my mobile number. I was not surprised. But what actually surprised and shocked me was the 10-year-old asked if I knew anybody who had a job for her; this 10-year-old girl’s dad has lost his job and being made redundant through no fault of his own. Her mum died and she has two siblings much younger than herself. My daddy has to put in for benefits and it will take time she told me. ‘I can cook , clean , I can do somebody’s garden and I don’t mind working on a Saturday and Sunday or after school.’
What was so evident that she was a little girl was she actually said to me ‘I’m not 10 till January wanted to work for her family’. She said I have to earn to get presents for my brother and sister and I don’t believe in Father Christmas anymore. She told me that they do and I don’t want to let them down. Her daddy is trying desperately to find work and she wanted to make things easier for him as she says he worries. The benefits system I always thought was to help somebody like this family who through no fault of their own have found themselves in dire situation. I told her not to worry and I would phone her later on this afternoon when she got back from school and I would sort something out.
I told her she was very very brave and she was very very wonderful to want to earn and I would make sure they got help. I’m afraid to say I’ve then got off the phone and had a damn good cry. It is heartbreaking and we are back in Victorian times and surely this is what the benefits system was set up for and for a nearly 10-year-old to ask if she could work what a wonderful young girl how bloody sad.