Fashion

I’m a mum-of-eight & I have to use foodbanks to feed my kids… no one will give me a job, they think I’m a scrounger

A MUM-of-eight has told how she is forced to use food banks to feed her kids after her benefits were cut.

Marie Buchan, 39,  from Selly Oak, West Midlands, says she is unable to find work after being given the nickname “octo-mum” and her family is now struggling to survive.


She claims that her weekly benefits have been cut by roughly £160 – £8,320 a year – since two of her children are now over the age of 16.

She told Birmingham Live: "I am around £160 per week worse off now. 

“It is a struggle and I use food banks just to survive. I basically live on food banks at the moment.

"You have to do what you have to do to survive and I am so grateful that I can turn to them. 

“They are a lifesaver for me and so so many other people."

In 2016, Marie appeared on the Channel 4 show Only Human where she was dubbed "Octomum" after she admitted to being "addicted" to pregnancy.

She also appeared on the Channel 5 show Benefits Britain: Life On The Dole where she claimed to work 21-hour days looking after her kids.

The mum – who has seven girls and one boy who are now aged between eight and 20 – now says the nickname affects her chances of getting work.

She said: "Unfortunately I have been given the nickname octomum and that has stuck. It is definitely holding me back from getting a job.

"I have applied for a number of jobs. Employers seem keen at first but when they realise who I am, I am rejected.

"I fear I will never be able to shake the octomum tag off."

Earlier this month Marie revealed she's been forced to call the police over death threats she's received from online trolls.

She claimed that trolls send her messages calling her a "s**g" and a "parasite" .

Shockingly, some have even told the mum they "hope [she] dies soon".

Describing the "vile" messages, Marie said: "Others say I'm a 'scrounger' and I've had threats of men coming to get me and 'teach me a lesson'. It can be hell at times."

She continued: "It has got to stop. People don't understand the impact on someone who is in the limelight. I have contacted the police before due to the threats."

In 2017, Marie trained to be a mechanic and has recently completed a first aid qualification – which she hopes will allow her to teach in schools.

Marie lives with her children – who all have the same father – in a housing association home in Birmingham.

In January this year, the mum reportedly had coronavirus which had her locked in her room while her kids looked after themselves.

She said at the time: "The situation is a complete nightmare.

"My children are downstairs and it’s horrible because I can hear the youngest one crying for me but I just can't risk any of them catching it so I have to stay in my bedroom."

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