A TEACHING assistant has said she feels "full of dread" for the future as the soaring cost of living pushes her and her young son close to homelessness.

Lucy McDonald works full-time, but fears she could be left without a home in a matter of months because her wages will no longer cover sky-high rental prices.

"I wake up every day full of anxiety and full of dread about just not knowing what our future will hold," Ms McDonald, 32, said.

She and her son have lived in Ystrad Mynach for the past six years, but her landlord is now planning to sell their home, and rental costs of other properties mean she can no longer afford to keep a roof over their heads.

“Since receiving the news I have looked every day for local rental properties local and further afield and found that the prices of monthly rent have risen unbelievably," she said. "My wage would just not cover the monthly rent and bills".

She added: "I have never been so scared in my life.

"I have contacted my council, applied for social housing, and even had to do a homeless assessment because that is what I face.

"I cannot find the words to describe the feeling of having to do that, other than petrifying."


Ms McDonald, who works as a steward for the trade union UNISON alongside her job as a special needs teaching assistant, also worries about the implications for her family.

“My son attends the local primary school where he is settled, doing well, made good friends and attends the local youth club," she said.

“I have until the end of July to leave my home - after that, if I have not found something that allows me to pay the monthly rent and all my bills, my son and I will be homeless.

“Something needs to be done about the cost of living and soon. How can someone like myself who works full-time face the possibility of becoming homeless?”

Lianne Dallimore is the branch secretary for UNISON in Caerphilly. She said cases like Ms McDonald's proved that employers should increase wages in line with everyday costs. The union plans to take part in major march in London on June 18, demanding action to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

“It is heart-breaking to hear the stark reality of the awful cost-of-living crisis we are all living under," Ms Dallimore said.

“Events like the march in London are crucial to highlighting the appalling situation so many hard-working families are finding themselves in through no fault of their own.

“Public sector workers are the backbone of our economy and, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, they need their pay to recognise the incredible sacrifices they make on a daily basis.”

South Wales Argus: