‘I’m a single mum, I have cancer and I work three jobs to afford school uniforms’

A single mum battling cancer is working three jobs to afford school uniforms for her children amid the escalating cost of living crisis.

Jayne Gale, 52, said she is “exhausted all of the time” after taking up roles as a nursing home carer, a parish clerk and an art psychotherapist at a special education school.

She was diagnosed with cancer in May this year and is still waiting to see a Macmillan nurse, reports Grimsby Live.

The mum, from North Lincolnshire, has been left appalled by the lack of health support in her local area as she struggles to make ends meet.

She said: “I’ve been trying to cope on my own for the last 12 years but now I’ve hit a brick wall.

“I’m exhausted all of the time and all I do when I get back from one of my three jobs is sleep. I guess it’s just a case of ploughing on really.”

Jayne’s two daughters are returning to school in September, and she has been told it will cost her £120 each for an annual bus pass – an increase of £40 on the previous year.

She is also having to shop at high street school uniform stores due to the school’s stringent guidelines.

Jayne said: “My youngest wants a new uniform which is going to cost around £200.

“Last year we managed just two shirts and one pair of trousers but now she’s grown out of them all. That’s not even mentioning PE kits.

“These schools should be providing allowances for children’s uniforms.

“I’m having to spend £65 for shoes and even more for trousers that cover the ankles but are not tight around the legs, very specific.”

On top of this, she is having to shell out extra money to travel to her nearest cancer support group in Hull, which she was forced to find herself.

Jayne said: “You expect services to step in so you’re able to take a backseat to get better but I’m still waiting to see a Macmillan nurse.”

She is “absolutely dreading” the next few months, as gas and electricity bills continue to spiral with analysts predicting the October price cap could hit £3,359.

Energy experts at Cornwall Insight are then predicting a further rise to £3,616 in January 2023.

This price cap was last adjusted in April this year, rising from £1,277 to £1,971 per year on average.

Jayne was previously quoted £600 per month for her utility bills, although this has since been reduced to £260 after she changed providers.

Her family plan to use as little heating as possible and avoid keeping the lights switched on.

She said: “I’m absolutely on my knees – if I had a choice I would be spending time with my children, but I can’t afford not to work.

“I’ve got three jobs and I can’t even drop one of them, and I’m claiming Universal Credit.

“I’ve got to keep on working until my body is broken.”