The streets of Britain where Brits pawn things to survive and only eat one meal a day

Robert Burt and his partner Theresa Downs have recently been struggling with the rising cost of living which has led to spiraling debt

Paula Moulton is among many who are struggling to pay off their debts
Paula Moulton is among many who are struggling to pay off their debts

Brits pawn things on the streets of Britain, where they refuse to use food banks to survive.

Robert Burt is one of many who have been left in dire straits as they struggle with the cost of living.

He has taken his camera to a pawn shop in Wythenshawe, Greater Manchester to have it appraised and is in a desperate situation that leaves him with no other choice.

Robert is paid £50 for a camera he bought for significantly more.

But he said that Manchester evening news The small sum is better than nothing and means they can eat more than one meal today.

Theresa Downs and partner Robert Burt, who has taken it upon himself to pawn loved items


Paige Oldfield)

“I’ve never been so bad in my life,” says the father of four. “This financial situation is the worst we’ve ever been in, 1982 was the last time we were that bad.

“I had to take my camera to Cash Generators to get some money. I don’t want to, but if you don’t have anything in your house, 30 or 40 pounds can make a difference.

Robert, who used to serve in the army, lost his job as a warehouse worker after an accident 15 months ago.

He suffered nerve damage in his lower back after being pinched by a forklift and has struggled to find work ever since.

“When you add up all the benefits, that was the worst thing you’ve ever done. They don’t get half as much as they used to,” he added.

“You can’t eat if you don’t have electricity to turn on the stove. You can’t cook food if you don’t have electricity. It is a doom-loop.”

The cost of living crisis has hit Barbara Brookes


Paige Oldfield)

Robert and his partner Theresa Downs have recently been struggling with the rising cost of living which has led to spiraling debt.

The couple limit themselves to one meal a day and charge their teenage daughter rent to help with the bills.

“I’m in debt up to my eyeballs. It’s council tax, water and £30 to £40 each week for gas and electricity bills. It’s ridiculous,” says Theresa, who cannot work because of epilepsy.

“Ultimately, you can’t tell by looking at the MPs that they are cutting their wages.

“I don’t use chalkboards. I would rather not eat. My daughter is 17 and she just started work. She will help when she gets her wages.

“Me and her dad said the first month’s wages are hers and after that she has to pay £25 a week rent. We suffer.

“Council tax is more of a concern because you lose your house and they can take you to court. It makes me depressed.

Wythenshawe town center in Greater Manchester where more people are being forced to use pawnshops


Paige Oldfield)

“It’s the same every day when you’re worried about gas, electricity and food. They worry.

“We live on basics like bread, milk, potatoes and basic food. We have one meal a day. It affects you every day. If you don’t eat, you don’t have the energy to do anything.”

Paula Moulton has multiple health issues, which means her home is full of electrical medical devices that need to be on at all times — even down to her mattress and bed.

In the past few months, she’s seen her energy bills double.

While she’s not struggling just yet, she worries she could run into financial trouble if prices start to rise again later this year.

“I’m an all-electric household, I have a lot of vital medical equipment that I can’t turn off, right down to my bed, my mattress and my phone, which I have to keep charged because I use the alarm,” she said.

People say they use budget shops as cost-of-living crunches


Paige Oldfield)

“There’s just no support. I changed my lightbulbs; We’re shutting things down and my heat has been off for ages, but I don’t know where to find the money.

“I’m already shopping at Lidl, where do you go when you’re already shopping there?

“I didn’t fight, but I will fight. It makes me frustrated because I am being punished for having an illness and being sick.”

Paula receives Personal Independence Payment, or PIP for short, but it’s nowhere near enough to cover her expenses.

“Equipment is vital – I have no choice. What should I do? I say to the nurses and doctors, ‘Sorry, I can’t have an air mattress or a hospital bed, I can’t afford that,'” she added.

“I need electricity to run the devices in my house. If I don’t do this, I will become seriously ill. I have to pay for special food because I eat soft food. I have an assistance dog, so does their cost apply as well. My PIP will only go so far.

“My bills have doubled in a month. I’m just afraid of what will happen with the next price increase. When will the government actually do something?

“I don’t understand where to go and what to do. What else are you missing?”

Barbara Brookes, 73, recently cut the amount of groceries she buys after noticing a rise in costs.

“I’m not that bad; I just exist,” she says. “I don’t buy as much food because it’s just me in the house, so I’m not that bad — yet.”

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