On Tuesday, from breakfast until bedtime, a cleaner with two children will stage the first Twitter Takeover of UNICEF UK’s feed @unicef_uk, sharing the reality of her daily struggle ahead of George Osborne’s critical budget next week.

Mum Janet from Newham will use her Twitter Takeover to highlight the situation of thousands of struggling families worried about the impact of the upcoming budget on their daily income.

UNICEF UK Ambassador and member of the Twitterati, Duncan Bannatyne, will be re-tweeting Janet’s posts to make sure the message is heard loud and clear in Westminster. Fellow Tweeters, who want to join the Twitter Takeover and show their support for Janet, can make their voices heard by using #mumtakesover.

"I want to make sure as many people as possible understand the difficulties that many parents are facing up and down the country," Janet said. "It’s hard to pay for the basics like rent, transport and giving my 11-year-old son vegetables for his dinner. My hugely stretched household budget will have to go even further come April. There’s just not enough money to give my children what they need."

Over half of the 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK are from families where at least one parent works. The Institute of Fiscal Studies has predicted this number will rise by another million children by 2013 unless current policies are changed.

UNICEF’s latest report card on child well-being, The Children Left Behind, shows low income is the main cause of child poverty and inequality in the UK.

The #mumtakesover initiative forms part of UNICEF UK’s campaign to urge the Government to put enough money in the Budget to reduce child poverty. UNICEF UK want the Government to ensure sufficient support for the most disadvantaged families, through both benefits and wages, during this time of deep and wide public spending cuts. To take action, go to www.unicef.org.uk/mindthegap.  

"I hope Janet’s candid account makes the Treasury sit up and take note," said Alison Marshall, UNICEF UK Public Affairs Director. "Tackling income poverty must be the number one priority for the Coalition Government. Children living in poverty must not be made to pay for the cuts."

Janet, mother and cleaner at Queen Mary’s University © UNICEF UK/2011/Alicia Jones
Janet works as a cleaner at Queen Mary, University of London. She says the Living Wage has helped her provide for her two children. © UNICEF UK/2011/Alicia Jones