Kate Winslet donates £17,000 to help pay soaring energy bill of 12-year-old girl’s life support

Kate Winslet has donated £17,000 to a mother who is facing soaring energy bills due to the cost of running her daughter’s life support machine.

Carolynne Hunter’s 12-year-old daughter Freya has severe complex health problems and disabilities, is non-verbal and blind and requires full-time oxygen and at-home nursing care.

Ms Hunter, 49, from Tillicoultry, Scotland, launched an appeal on GoFundMe earlier this week to help pay for the rising costs of the equipment that keeps Freya alive, such as a machine monitoring her oxygen and heart rate.

Days into the campaign, which had a £20,000 goal, a donation of £17,000 marked “Kate Winslet and family” was paid to the fundraiser, which has been confirmed to have come from the actress.

Freya requires full-time oxygen and at-home nursing care. Pic: GoFundMe

Ms Hunter, a mother of four, wrote on GoFundMe: “I have no way of reducing the usage of energy in our home.

“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.”

She said she faced a predicted annual fuel bill of £17,000 in January 2023, up from just over £9,000 in October this year.

The GoFundMe campaign has now raised £20,353.

In August Ms Hunter told the PA news agency about her fears for the winter, saying: “Our families are going to suffer, there’s going to be a mass crisis for the NHS and social care and children will die if their families are not able to pay for it.”

Later this year Winslet is set to star in Channel 4 feature film I Am Ruth, in which she will play Ruth, the mother of a character named Freya, who will be played by Winslet’s own daughter, 22-year-old Mia Threapleton.

Winslet co-authored the film, which looks at the mental health crisis affecting young people in the UK, alongside Dominic Savage, the series creator of the I Am anthology of standalone dramas.

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