Kind strangers have raised more than £17,000 for a single father-of-two who admitted he ‘can’t take any more’ amid a cost of living struggle.
Samuel, who lives in a one bedroom flat on the 15th floor with his two sons, eight-year-old Lysander and five-year-old Zenuel, says he lets his children eat then he has whatever is ‘left over’.
The trio share a bed and cuddle up for warmth – and the father told the BBC in an emotional video: ‘I’m not the only one in this position, many families all over Bristol are going through situations what we are going through and I can’t take any more of this.’
After Samuel spoke to the BBC, they were hit with an influx of email responses from well-wishers wanting to help him in any way possible – leaving the father overcome with emotion.
Now a gofundme fundraising page has raised £17,284 to help support him and his children.
A gofundme page has been set up to help Samuel and his two boys – and has raised more than £17k so far
Offers of help emailed to the BBC ranged from restaurants in Bristol wanting to feed him and the boys for free, and others wanting to donate bunkbeds.
Samuel read from the emails aloud, with one telling him ‘if I ever win the lottery, I’m going to buy you somewhere to live.’
Another asked him ‘how can I help?’
‘It makes me feel like I’m being listened to,’ Samuel said, fighting back the tears.
And on the school run he was hit by another act of kindness, as the lolly pop lady Julie had baked them a banana cake for the weekend.
The fundraising page set up for him by a friend said: ‘Samuel and his sons live on the 15th floor of a tower block in Easton, Bristol, sharing a one bedroom flat. His story has been featured on the BBC and since then there’s been a huge outpouring of generosity from the general public.
Samuel reading through piles emails of emails from people who want to help him
Samuel said in a video that he lets his boys eat first – and then he will eat what’s left over
‘I’ve personally known Sam, and his family, for many years, and would describe him as a salt of the earth person – always there to help anyone.
‘A most kind-hearted person, always helping out in the community. It would be lovely to add some festive cheer, especially for his children. Community really is everything.
‘All funds from this fundraiser will be paid by gofundme directly to Sam. Many thanks for your generosity and support for Sam and his boys.’
He shares a bedroom – and bed – with his two sons who are aged eight and five
Samuel says he is not the only person struggling and that other families are in the same position
The kids playing in their one-bedroom flat, where Samuel says he has lived for nine years
The single father shows where he sleeps, with his two sons beside him cuddling for warmth
The family was given a banana cake by the lolly pop lady on the school run
Samuel, a former security guard, was signed off work sick and now is left with £52 a week once he has paid all the bills.
He says he has been in the one-bed flat for nine years.
With yellow sticker items filling his fridge, he said he finds times when supermarkets reduce the price of food to do his shopping.
And he says he has to save up in order to buy cheese.
‘I let the little ones eat, then whatever is left I would eat,’ he said.
Samuel adds: ‘You’re living on the bare minimum anyway, and everything around you is going up – it’s like being in a sinking ship and you’ve got a teaspoon to get the water out to save yourself, that’s what it’s like.’
Last week MailOnline reported on a single father-of-six who said he was struggling to afford new school shoes for his son due to the cost of living crisis.
Gaz Kaye, from Cleethorpes, who is helping run a Warm Space for others who aren’t able to afford the basic necessities, says even the price of a loaf of bread has gone up and the costs ‘add up’.
And as a result of price increases, he’s had to change the way he lives his life.
He now has to consider every penny he spends and says this is making him feel as though he’s ‘failing’ as a father.
Gaz Kaye, from Cleethorpes, a single dad-of-six, is struggling to afford his son’s school shoes
With his children ranging from aged three and 12, Gaz has a lot of mouths to feed and he works tirelessly to do all he can for them.
He explained: ‘There doesn’t seem to be one specific thing that is really hurting me, it’s just everything.
‘Even just a loaf of bread has gone up, I don’t know how people can make it through the day. Everything adds up but running the car is probably the thing that is the biggest issue.
‘With a big family, I need a big car but a small engine. I’m not poor by any means in my mind, but with the way things are I feel like I probably am right now, but surely it can’t stay like this?’