Kate Winslet Donates $20,000 to Cover Energy Bill for 12-Year-Old Girl's Medical Care

Kate Winslet Donates Money to Scottish Girl Freya amid Energy Crisis
Kate Winslet Donates Money to Scottish Girl Freya amid Energy Crisis

John Phillips/Getty, GoFundMe

Kate Winslet is helping the mother of a disabled 12-year-old girl in Scotland cope with surging energy prices this winter.

The British actress, 47, has donated £17,000 (around $20,000) to Carolynne Hunter, after learning she was struggling to pay the essential electricity costs for her daughter Freya, who has a severe form of cerebral palsy, reported the BBC.

"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 the outlet.

"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," added Hunter about the family, who live in public housing in Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire around 40 miles northwest of Edinburgh.

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Celebrities with Species Named After Them
Celebrities with Species Named After Them

Getty Kate Winslet

Experts predict the costs of electricity this winter in Europe will reach record highs due to a widespread pivot away from Russian energy following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

Hunter's local housing department recently provided a forecast that said her electricity costs could be around £17,000 this year — a huge increase from 2021.

"I have no way of reducing the usage of energy in our home," Hunter told the BBC, adding that she had been forced to turn off the heating in most rooms in order to save money.

"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."

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On Nov. 9, Hunter set up a GoFundMe page in an attempt to pay for Freya's care. She stated that "despite campaigning publicly for the past 7 months" both the U.K. and Scottish governments had failed to help the family.

"In March I was paying £225 ($265) a month, I struggled to pay that. Since April I have had £400 ($470) a month taken for energy costs. As of 20th Oct £505 ($593) is what I am being forced to pay," wrote Hunter. "Help!"

The Scot also revealed that she had "deep concerns" about how Freya will fare should the UK be forced to introduce power cuts this winter as it grapples with an estimated 73% increase in energy prices.

"Freya has constant routine medical interventions requiring equipment operated by electricity during the hours between 3-7 not to mention the neccessity of heat and light," wrote Hunter.

"Health & Social Care & Govt Public Health have not provided me with a contingency plan to keep Freya safe at home should these power outages happen."