A privileged 21-year-old is left in tears when she realises the amount she spends on a single meal out would be enough to pay for an entire month’s worth of food for her cash-strapped host on Rich Kids Go Skint.
Becca, who claims to be distantly related to royalty, divides her time between her plush Chelsea pad and her parents’ palatial home in Wiltshire, and is perfectly at home shopping designer brands on London’s upmarket King’s Road.
She explains in 5STAR’s Rich Kids Go Skint that she lives off the ‘bank of dad’ and never has to worry about picking up the bill. She estimates her lavish summer holiday alone would have cost between £15,000 and £20,000.
The life of excess is worlds away from that of single mother Nureen, 34, a struggling self-employed chef from Harlesden, London, who welcomes Becca into her home for three days so she can experience what it is like to live on the breadline.
Nureen is left stunned when Becca presents her with a hamper from Fortnum & Mason and reveals it set her back £100, telling her pampered guest: ‘Around £100 would feed my family for around three weeks.’
Nureen reveals her son spends much of his time with his father because she dedicates much of her time to running community cooking classes for those with even less than herself.
She tells Becca that after rent and bills, she survives off a budget of just £150 a month.
The revalation has a profound affect on Becca, who breaks down when she realises the cost of a single meal at her favourite expensive restaurant could provide food for Nureen and her son for the entire month.
‘I’m not going to lie I do live on the bank of dad,’ she tells Nureen. ‘If I need something or in a situation where I need more money I will always be given it.
‘I have a clothes allowance, on top of that I have a travel allowance. For example recently I went to South Africa and that whole trip was a lot of money. I would say my whole summer was £15,000- £20,000.’
Stunned, Nureen responds: ‘That could literally be an entire year’s salary.’
Becca quickly realises how lucky she is and how far the single mother’s tiny budget has to stretch.
‘I just feel really bad that I can just go and buy shoes or something which are obviously really expensive, and not have to think about it or anything that much, and I don’t even work for it.’
She adds: ‘When she told me about how much money was left at the end of the month it really shocked me.
‘I was like I can spend that money really quickly. It just really made me emotional and it made me think “gosh I have been so lucky”, I have had so many privileges and it really touched me.’
Nureen admits she was surprised at Becca’s display of emotion: ‘I think she realised how fortunate she is and also how hard I have had to work.
‘The fact she doesn’t have to work if she doesn’t want to and she is starting to value money in a different light as well which is quite nice.’
From the moment she arrives, Becca is thrown in the deep-end by helping Nureen at one of her cooking workshops at her local community centre.
Becca has to roll up her sleeves and get messy mixing ingredients to make doughnuts, while interacting with the children who have come to learn.
She is inspired by Nureen’s giving nature: ‘Hearing that Nureen has been helping kids especially, what they should and shouldn’t eat and teaching them, I think that is wonderful. I didn’t even know that existed. This kind of community help.
‘Nureen hasn’t obviously been given everything on a plate so it makes me respect her even more, just seeing how much she wants to help people. It’s just really humbling.’
During a night time stroll they are accosted by a drunk woman flinging her handbag and shouting at the pair and their camera crew.
The whole experience has Becca shaking with fear as she begs to return back to Nureen’s small flat: ‘It was absolutely terrifying, I didn’t expect that to happen at all. This has been a different experience and I don’t think I’d want to experience it again.’
A shaken Becca later confesses: ‘I thought I knew London. I thought my area was similar to most of London. I didn’t know that these things happened.’
Becca knuckles down to learn self-defence with Nureen, and shops for the ingredients to make one of Nureen’s budget basics – Jamaican chicken curry.
The 21-year-old is overwhelmed by the local produce shop – ‘Chelsea definitely doesn’t have shops like this, usually it’s Waitrose, M&S, Whole Foods’ – but Nureen is impressed when she completes the shopping list and cooks an edible meal for two.
Emotions run high again when it’s time for Becca to leave and she gifts Nureen a cooking master class as a thank you, which leads to the single mother breaking down in tears.
Becca vows to meet Nureen as she leaves gushing: ‘Everything Nureen has taught me has really changed my view on life, and it’s made me really want to help the community more, I can see how much happiness and joy it brings.
‘Nureen is an inspiration and she’s shown me a different side of life that I have never seen before.
‘I may live in a really nice place and be surrounded by a lot of expensive things but it just shows that at the end of the day she’s happy and I am so lucky to know her and she is definitely going to be a friend for life.’