Leeds cancer mother’s cold Christmas

Cancer sufferer and single mum Kayleigh Richardson with her two daughters, Letisha, two, and Piper, six.
Cancer sufferer and single mum Kayleigh Richardson with her two daughters, Letisha, two, and Piper, six.
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A young mum’s family Christmas was ruined after she and her two daughters were left with no hot water or heating over the festive period.

Kayleigh Richardson – who is recovering from cancer – says she is at her wits’ end after her gas boiler broke on December 23 and a new part could not be sourced by her council landlords.

The 25-year-old has been surviving by heating saucepans of water on her cooker to bathe daughters Piper, six, and Letisha, two.

The family were given temporary small home heaters, but they operate via pay-as-you-go units and Miss Richardson had to use her girls’ Christmas money to pay for the electricity.

Now she says she doesn’t even have enough money left to feed them properly.

“Christmas was awful. My six-year-old was so upset by this she asked me to take the Christmas decorations down,” Miss Richardson, from Morley, said.

“I spoke to the council and they said there’s nothing they can do. They are waiting for the part, but why can’t they rush it through?

“My two-year-old has asthma and has to be kept warm, but her bedroom is really cold and I can not get it any warmer.

“They have given us some small heaters but I cannot even afford to run them.

“I had to put all of the girls’ Christmas money in because it’s a pay-as-you-go meter and it just eats everything up.

“I cannot even afford to feed the girls properly, I have just a couple of pounds.

“I was diagnosed with cervical cancer a few weeks before Christmas and although they caught it at the right time, I just want my girls to be OK. It’s just a nightmare.”

A spokeswoman for Aire Valley Homes, which manages Miss Richardson’s flat on behalf of Leeds City Council, said: “We do sympathise with Miss Richardson’s situation and we are trying very hard to find her the part which will fix her boiler. Unfortunately it is a specialist part which neither us, nor the contractors, hold in stock. We are continuing our search for this part today and hope to have the boiler fixed as soon as possible.”

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