Hunter writes that she will continue to campaign on how 'this energy crisis is impacting people who require a high level of medical care.'
Carolynne Hunter has been going through a very difficult time. The UK mother of 4 has been struggling endlessly with surging energy costs since she has a daughter with complex medical needs. Freya, a 12-year-old, has a severe form of cerebral palsy and relies on very complex equipment, leaving Hunter no way to cut her energy consumption. "Freya has constant routine medical interventions requiring equipment operated by electricity during the hours between 3-7 not to mention the necessity of heat and light," Hunter wrote in a GoFundMe she set up to help pay for these needs.
The Scottish mom reached out to people for support but she did not expect Kate Winslet to contribute to the fundraiser. Not just contribute, the "Titanic" actress donated about £17,000 (around $20,000) and personally called the mom to reassure her and wish her well. "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?" Hunter, 49, told BBC.
I hope you were asking him how he is going to support you to support our families to pay our sky rocketing 🚀 energy bills to keep our Bairns alive! #EnergyCrisis #CostOfLivingCrisis cos this dire situation is not going to resolve on its own! #unpaidcarers pic.twitter.com/p9XS6Nu7s2— Carolynne Hunter (@CazMac38) November 10, 2022
"My older daughter and I have historically lived in fuel poverty to keep Freya safe and comfortable making sure all her medical needs are being met whilst allowing me to keep my bills as low as possible," Hunter shared of her family's condition. The family lives in public housing in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire around 40 miles northwest of Edinburgh. Winslet is the top donor on the GoFundMe page with £17,000. Her donation means a lot to the family since a recent prediction from Hunter's local housing departments states that her electricity expenditures might reach over £17,000 this year, a significant increase from 2021.
"The level of care Freya is having is probably on par with what would be happening in an intensive care ward," Hunter added about her daughter, who relies on oxygen due to breathing problems. "She needs constant heat and the staff need to be comfortable in the room."
I’m listening to Boogie in the Morning - SuperVan live on @forthone - Freya supporting Cash for Kids this morning with her amazing story about her Princess Bed— Carolynne Hunter (@CazMac38) November 11, 2022
Text VAN to 84901 and help children all over Scotland to have a better quality of life. pic.twitter.com/Qy1XAvWyuD
Hunter works full-time on a moderate wage and believes she does not receive assistance, as many people with economic uncertainty do. Currently, running the equipment and heating the house costs them £6,500 ($7,800 approximately) annually, though Hunter shut off the heat in most of the rooms to save money. A mass shift away from Russian energy following Putin's invasion of Ukraine is expected to drive electricity prices this winter in Europe to record highs, per PEOPLE. Hunter worries that the energy crisis due to Russia's war could result in possible winter, putting Freya's care at risk.
In an update on the GoFundMe, Hunter writes that she will continue to campaign on how "this energy crisis is impacting people who require a high level of medical care." She writes, "I will continue to campaign to make sure both UK and Scottish Governments provide appropriate support for the most health-vulnerable people across the UK. Since the donation was made by Kate Winslet I have been able to access a larger audience to get the message out about how badly this energy crisis is impacting people who require a high level of medical care. I am so grateful to Kate for supporting me on this platform."
Kate Winslet has donated £17,000 to a Scottish mum facing an extortionate energy bill to keep running her daughter’s life support.https://t.co/zEFaCcCpwu pic.twitter.com/lNJx8eq85M— STV News (@STVNews) November 12, 2022