Brenda Edwards reveals she struggled to feed her two children living on £500 a month

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Brenda Edwards revealed she struggled to feed her two children when they were young, and would ‘sit in the dark with no electricity and cry’ about her financial situation. 

In 2005, Brenda, 51, from Luton, finished in fourth place in the second series of The X Factor, and last year became a panelist on Loose Women – however when her two children were young, the mother struggled by on just £500 a month. 

Speaking on today’s show, she admitted she did ‘everything she could’ to hide her financial difficulties from her family, and after paying her childminder would be left with £150 to pay for food, clothes and utilities. 

She told her children would eat the same meal three times a week, and that she was mocked by a colleague for asking whether she could take home the office’s old sofa so her children didn’t have to sit on chairs in their home. 

Brenda Edwards, pictured before her rise to fame, revealed she struggled to feed her two children when they were young, and would 'sit in the dark with no electricity and cry' about her financial situation

Brenda Edwards, pictured before her rise to fame, revealed she struggled to feed her two children when they were young, and would ‘sit in the dark with no electricity and cry’ about her financial situation

Speaking on today's show, she admitted she did 'everything she could' to hide her financial difficulties from her family

Speaking on today’s show, she admitted she did ‘everything she could’ to hide her financial difficulties from her family

‘I did hide everything financial from my kids’, said Brenda’  ‘And my family in general, I didn’t want them to know I was struggling.

‘It was very hard I was a single mum with two kids and I wanted to work and I found I was working to live. I was paid £500 a month, £350 of that was going on a child minder and so you’ve got £150 for food and school clothes for your utilities, for rent. 

‘There was a time I just ran out of money, I had an electricity meter and it goes into emergency credit , I didn’t have any money and I was just sitting there crying in the dark because I had no money.

[I was] thinking how am I going to get out of this?  What am I going to do? You want to do your bit for society, but I didn’t feel I had the help and support back I had to be raising my children.’ 

She told fellow host Carol McGiffin (left) her children would eat the same meal three times a week, and that she was mocked by a colleague for asking whether she could take home the office's old sofa

She told fellow host Carol McGiffin (left) her children would eat the same meal three times a week, and that she was mocked by a colleague for asking whether she could take home the office’s old sofa

She went on to tell that her children would the same eat cheap meals, and how 'basic things' like a sofa for her children to sit on were out of reach at the time

She went on to tell that her children would the same eat cheap meals, and how ‘basic things’ like a sofa for her children to sit on were out of reach at the time

She went on to tell that her children would the same eat cheap meals, and how ‘basic things’ like a sofa for her children to sit on were out of reach at the time. 

Host Andrea McLean asked: ‘Did you ever struggle to feed your children?’ 

She replied: ‘Absolutely. They would eat the same thing twice or three times in that week. I would do corned beef and rice and tuna and pasta and Sunday we would go and have the big dinner. 

‘For me it was things basic like sitting on a chair, I didn’t have sofas in my house and it was only when I started working as an accounts payable manager and they were chucking out some sofas. 

‘I said: “Can I have this so my kids have somewhere to sit” And they laughed at me. I said “Why are you laughing at me? I can’t even afford second hand” 

‘We used that sofa for two or three years and I didn’t tell the children, I didn’t want them to have that stress and I think I’ve done a good job and I’m a stronger woman for everything I’ve gone through.’ 

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