Unemployed couple with seven kids ask for money for Xmas
An unemployed couple with seven kids who launched a GoFundMe appeal to help pay for Christmas has been slammed for not "taking responsibility".
Ryan Rodgers, 26, and Jenny Grimes, 25, from Liverpool, the UK said they needed extra help as they struggled to survive on £480 ($A931) a month after their government benefits were slashed.
The pair, who have seven children under the age of seven, said a lack of cash meant they were forced to rely on food banks, charities and help from friends and relatives to feed the family.
Their public appeal for help has raised more than $6000, however, family members and others online are outraged and have said the couple are running a "cash grab" scam.
And in a bizarre twist, Ms Grimes' own mother Shelly Grattan even insisted the couple's GoFundMe appeal to pay for Christmas is a "con" - saying Mr Rodgers will probably spend the money on alcohol and cigarettes.
Mr Rodgers revealed he suffered from depression and anxiety and became an alcoholic - although he now claims to have stopped drinking.
On the GoFundMe page, Ms Grimes wrote: "We are a young couple with seven children trying to get back on our feet after becoming homeless having to start all over again from fresh."
The couple have raised £3400 ($A6602) so far, but they haven't escaped criticism from others online who say they are horrified the pair are unwilling or "unable" to work.
"He needs to get up of his backside and get a job. I have three children one who has special needs I still go out to work and my husband works away," one person said.
"We do this to give our children the best we can and to teach them good work ethics."
Another said the couple needed to take more responsibility for the number of children they'd chosen to have and questioned: "Why should the rest of us keep them?"
"My husband and I both worked and decided to have two children because we couldn't afford any more!"
GO FUND ME 'CON'
The pair said they were left with little choice but to appeal for help as their benefits have been capped to the "bare minimum" and with Christmas "being only a few weeks away".
"We feel really ashamed to have to do this as we've never had to do anything like this before," Ms Grimes wrote on the GoFundMe page.
"I hate to have to do this and it's took a lot for me to actually do it, but there is only so much we can do as a family.
"Any help at all is very much appreciated, even if you could point me in the direction of getting some help. Thank you."
The couple said their children "wanted for nothing" until Mr Rodgers lost his job over a cancer scare last year.
Mr Rodgers said: "With Christmas, there's so much we need but can't provide for the kids as a family.
"It's got to the stage where we've got to do something about it. Food banks only go so far. It's a real struggle."
But his mother-in-law, Ms Grattan, told MailOnline: "Ryan is a feckless liar who is trying to con the public into giving him money which he will just pour down his throat.
"No one should give him any money as he has a drink problem and that's where it will all go. He will spend it all on booze.
"Anyone who has donated to the GoFundMe page should ask for their money back. He is conning the public with a sob story that is not true."
Ms Grimes' sister, Jo Jo Grimes, said Mr Rodgers, the son of a police sergeant, was "feckless and work-shy".
She added: "He leaves the house at 10am in the morning and comes back late at night off his head on drink. He has a big drink problem and he also spends most of their benefit money on weed.
"Jenny did leave him once about four years ago but they got back together.
"He is just bad news and the public should not fall for his sob story."
But the couple insist they are "ashamed" at having to create a GoFundMe appeal and deny their family's accusations.
Ms Grimes has been forced to defend her partner after her own family branded him an "alcoholic".
She said: "Our own family is commenting and telling people that Ryan is an alcoholic. He used to have a problem with drink but he's not drunk for ages.
"People are also suggesting things about drugs which is ridiculous, I've not touched a drug in my life and I wouldn't let anything like that anywhere near my kids. I think drugs are disgusting.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission