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An eye-opener for single mum as TV show takes her back to 1949

By Nottingham Post  |  Posted: August 20, 2013


SINGLE mum Kirsty Tranter worked hard to set up her own successful business and is now reaping the rewards.

But a thriving business and a regular income is not the case for most lone parents in 2013, with many finding it hard to get work in the first place.


Miss Tranter, owner of A Woman's Touch cleaning service – based in Ruddington – agreed to take part in Channel 4's documentary called Benefits Britain 1949, because she was interested to see how benefits claimants are treated.


The programme, which airs for the second week tonight at 9pm, follows three claimants as they give up their 2013 entitlement to council housing and agree to be reassessed according to 1949 rules.

Business boss: Kirsty Tranter, owner of A Woman's Touch cleaning service, has taken part in the Channel 4 documentary Benefits Britain 1949. She agreed to take on a single mum on benefits and give her work experience.

Thirty-eight-year-old Miss Tranter takes on a single-mum-of-two from the Meadows for a work experience placement.

She said: "I was approached by the production company a few months ago. They said they wanted a local business to be involved in this program which would look at how benefits today compare to benefits in 1949.


"I'm a single mum and I built up my business myself so I was interested to take part."

Miss Tranter, who has lived in Ruddington for three years, added: "It really was eye-opening for me, to see how hard it is to balance being a mum with working these days if you are on benefits.


"Nichola, who came to do a placement with me, has two young ones and doesn't work at the moment – but she has worked before.

"We saw how for her to work in today's economy on minimum wage and to have two children in childcare wouldn't be worth her while – she's better off on the benefits."


The program shows how Nichola, 25, and her two young daughters are top of the housing priority list in 2013, but because she is unmarried she would never have qualified for a council house in 1949.


They are evicted from their council flat and have to fend for themselves. Nichola finds the 1949 attitude towards single mums challenging. In 1949 she would have been made to work – which is how she ends up doing a placement at A Woman's Touch.

Miss Tranter added: "Nichola was a great worker. She said she really enjoyed the experience. I told the producers she did really well and I would've taken her on in real life.


"Filming the program was definitely an interesting experience and it opened my eyes to how the welfare state has changed over the years."


Tonight's program also features Patson, who arrived in the UK in 2002, after fleeing violence in Zimbabwe.

As an asylum seeker with unlimited right to remain in the UK, he currently claims Jobseeker's Allowance, but feels that the 2013 system does little to help the unemployed back to work. There was work for all in 1949 and Patson is allocated a job at a farm.

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