In one of the episodes of Channel 5’s Rich House, Poor House, viewers saw a wealthy family who has the perfect life swapping their lives with a mother who is struggling to even feed her children.
Millionaire businessman Damien Lee lives in a six-bedroom Victorian home on Bournemouth’s seafront with his beauty consultant partner, Weronika, and his sons, James and Josh.
Damien runs a successful company, Mr. Lee’s Noodles, and also owned night clubs, bars, restaurants, and a marketing company.
His six-bedroom Victorian home also has a games room, lounge, sitting room, and five bathrooms.
Damien, who owns two Harley Davidson motorbikes, spends up to £600 every week alone on food.
Damien said: “I work hard to give my boys a good life, the boys don’t want for anything.”
However, everything is not as perfect as it seems.
Damien, who is 52-year-old, is fighting with Stage Four cancer that he has already beaten three times before.
Damien and his family were seen swapping their luxurious lives with a single mother who lives with her brother and her two children in Dorset.
28-year-old Larissa and her children – son Kobie and daughter Imahny – live in a three-bedroom rented council house while her younger brother, Connor, lives nearby.
Larissa works part-time as a nail technician and after paying for bills and rent, she is left with just £45 for spending on food and other things.
The family usually has cereal for dinner because they can’t afford other foods.
Larissa said: “I very rarely cook because I can’t afford food. I feel angry and a failure, I have kids watching me so I keep going for them but then I worry they might see me as a failure.”
Larissa dreams of opening her salon but struggles to even feed her children.
When Weronika learned that the single mum is left with only £45 after paying for rent and bills, she said: “£45 is enough for one bottle of wine”.
The family, who usually have cheese and pasta and plain toast for the first supper, were left shocked after knowing even Britain has such people who live on tiny budgets.
After swapping their lives with each other, Larissa and her family finally had a takeaway pizza while Lee’s learned a lot when they went shopping with just £45.
Damien said: “They live like this every day and all I’m craving is avocado on sourdough. I don’t know how they live like this. If I knew my children were living on such a tight budget like Larissa, I would do everything I could to help them. It’s clear she does everything for her kids.”
Larissa got a hair cut by Damien’s friend and hairdresser, Nicky Clarke while Damien and his sons Josh and James played a game of bowling using empty plastic bottles that they never do.
James said: “Playing games together as a family was fun because we all did it together, which is something we never do.”
Damien, who only had £1 after spending the £45 weekly budget, bought popcorns for family and watched a movie.
While Larissa who still had £800, spent the money on toys, a designer jumper for her kids and a new rug for her living room.
After swapping their lives for one day, Damien’s family and Larissa’s family finally met and talked about their experiences.
Damien said: “I had a total connection with you and your situation. You’re a single parent and I was a single dad. One of the toughest jobs in the world is being a parent.”
He told Larissa that he would be paying for a family holiday as they have never been on a holiday and promised to help Larissa opening a nail salon.
He said: “I’ve learned this week that quality time with the family and about other people’s struggles.”
While Larissa added: “I’m feeling a lot more confident and that’s all down to Damian and his family.”
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