'It never occurred to us to ask for a council house. It's about pride. We're not bringing our children up in that cycle because we were not bought up relying on benefits or the council for property. We bought our house through sheer hard work: I regularly work an extra 20 hours a week on top of my full-time shift to bring in an extra £320 a week.
‘One of the hardest things was stopping putting money into Olivia’s child trust fund when she was two. No one in either of our families has gone to university and we hoped Olivia would be the first, but we couldn’t afford to keep putting even a few pounds into her account each month. I was gutted to have to stop but we literally had nowhere else to cut our spending.
'I had already stopped paying my union subs, which is a shame because unions are a way to get a better deal at work, although that requires people to pull together and that hasn't happened of late. I even stopped playing football six years ago because, as a postman, I just can't risk injuring myself. That was a very frustrating sacrifice: I've played football since I was seven years old but if I can't work due to injury, we literally would not be able to cope.'