Cost of Living: Mom has to work three jobs while battling cancer

Jayne Gale, pictured with one of her daughters, Hannah, is currently a caregiver, psychotherapist and community clerk (Image: MEN Media)

Hearing the words “you have cancer” is usually the beginning of life slowing down on the road to recovery.

But that’s no longer possible for Britons struggling to make ends meet amid the cost of living crisis.

Jayne Gale, 52, has to work three jobs while battling the early stages of cancer.

The single mother is currently a caregiver at a care home in Hull, an art psychotherapist at a special school in Grimsby and a community clerk in Killingholme.

Without these jobs, she and her two children would be homeless.

“I’ve been trying to get by on my own for the past 12 years, but now I’ve hit a wall,” she said.

“I’m exhausted all the time and all I do when I get back from one of my three jobs is sleep. I think it’s just about really moving on.

Ms Gale said she is “absolutely” dreading the next few months as her household bills are set to climb even further.


Jayne Gale holds three jobs fighting cancer (Image: MEN Media)

The energy price cap, currently at £1,971, is expected to rise to £3,359 in October, hitting Britain’s poorest families hardest.

Ms Gale was previously quoted £600 a month on one of her electricity bills, which is even more than her rent.

This was reduced to £260 when she switched providers, but her direct debit will increase by the autumn.

She said: “I’m absolutely on my knees – if I had a choice I’d spend time with my kids, but I can’t afford not to work.

“I have three jobs and I can’t even quit one of them, and I’m claiming universal credit. I have to keep working until my body is broken.’

On top of that, her youngest is going back to school in September, which means she has to buy her a bunch of new supplies.


Jayne Gale fears her family will be homeless if she can’t keep working (Image: MEN Media)

Since her school is very strict about uniforms, Mrs. Gale has to shop on the main street.

“My youngest wants a new uniform, which will cost around £200,” she said. “Last year we only managed two shirts and a pair of pants, but now she’s outgrown it all. PE kits are not even mentioned.

“These schools should provide grants for children’s uniforms. I have to spend £65 on shoes and even more for pants that cover the ankles but aren’t tight on the legs. It’s very specific.’

Since Universal Credit only goes so far, the family tries to use as little heating as possible and has made it a point to turn off the lights.

Utilities are expected to rise again in January, with the price cap hovering at £3,616 as families endure the highest inflation in 40 years.

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Justin Scacco

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