Rich House Poor House changed my life: Struggling single mum reveals how wealthy family she met on show are investing in her business start-up – and they’re still friends a year on
- Skye Walker, who lives in a council home in Lewisham, was on the show last year
- She swapped with Belinda and Matthew Sethard-Wright and their family
- Wealthy couple since offered to help her out and invest in her T-shirt business
- Year later the two families stay in contact and regularly spend time together
A debt-ridden single mother-of-three has revealed how appearing on Channel 5’s Rich House Poor House has changed her life – after her wealthy counterparts generously invested in her business.
In a special episode filmed a year after her original swap from the second series, Skye Walker, who lives in a council house in Lewisham with her three children, also showed the gifts her children had been showered with by the Sethard-Wright family, that had never appeared on screen in the original show.
Belinda and Matthew Sethard-Wright, who have struck up an unlikely friendship with Skye and her three children, daughters Ashani, 13, and Riahiema, 7, and two-year-old son Kareem, treated Skye’s brood to bikes that their mother wouldn’t ever be able to afford.
An emotional Skye shows them off in the ‘Rich House Poor House Changed My Life’ revisit, gushing: ‘We came home and the girls were like “look at our new bikes”. I don’t normally get anything from anyone, I always work hard for things.’
Skye, who was working as a cleaner when she first appeared on the show, but now – thanks to a cash injection from the Sethard-Wrights – juggles her fledgling T-shirt business with her job as a carer for disabled children.
Belinda Sethard-Wright (left) struck up a close friendship with her Rich House Poor House counterpart, Skye Walker, even offering to invest the struggling single mother’s fledgling personalised T-shirt business
Skye was surprised to learn when she returned home from the swap that her wealthy counterparts had showered her children with bikes which was not shown on screen in the initial episode
The mother-of-three wasn’t left out either as she was gifted a memory foam mattress, as well as kitchen utensils from Belinda that she felt Skye probably wouldn’t be able to normally buy
Skye wasn’t left out, as she received a memory foam mattress, and kitchen essentials such as utensils, jars and baskets.
She said of her generous new friends: ‘It’s nice to have a bit of her inside my home. Every time I see my little things in the kitchen it reminds me of Bel.’
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Belinda, who herself had grown up on the council estate Skye lived on, said of the treats: ‘I just thought these are the little things that Skye probably wants to get that she’s got to prioritise.’
Matthew added: ‘We didn’t want them to come back and think “oh we felt sorry for you, here’s stuff”, because that is far from what we want. It just felt right to do something.’
In the original swap episode, Skye and her three children traded their usual weekly budget of £176.74 for the Sethard-Wrights’ luxury budget of £1,599.
The Sethard-Wrights and their two children, 12-year-old Olivia and Theo, seven, live only five miles away in Bromley a huge gated mansion with an indoor pool, a tennis court, a gym and a disco room.
Belinda and Matthew Sethard-Wright, who works in the City, both come from humble beginnings and felt that they wanted to leave something behind for the Walker family
In the original swap from series two of Rich House Poor House the Walkers left behind their council house in Lewisham for the Sethard-Wright’s gated mansion (pictured) which also had a swimming pool
The two families have hit it off so much that Skye and her children were invited round to spend Boxing Day with the Sethard-Wrights and their extended family and keep in regular contact
The mother-of-three had been struggling as a cleaner, earning £7 an hour, but now works as a carer for disabled children, and with a cash injection from the Sethard-Wrights is also starting a T-shirt venture.
She saved up her wages to buy a printer so that she could make T-shirts to sell for extra money which Belinda was keen to help with.
‘I’m very very impressed with it and I’d like to invest in making it a business for you and definitely help you financially,’ Belinda told Skye.
As Skye wasn’t allowed to spend her new budget in the original swap on paying off her debts she decided to treat her children to a new computer so that they could do their homework and not have to trek to the local library
As well as a new job as a carer for disabled children, Skye has also started a business designing bespoke clothing saving up for a special printer that she can iron on to different items
It was a bittersweet moment for Skye taking part in the original house swap, as given such a large sum of money she was desperate to pay off her bills but unfortunately the rules of the show ban participants from doing this.
Sometimes finding it hard to put enough food on the table she admitted: ‘If it had been down to me I would have paid off some of the outstanding bills but I wasn’t allowed to do that and that was the hard bit about it.
‘But I loved having the nice life with for week. It was like being on holiday with nothing to worry about,’ she said.
Instead she decided to spoil her children and splashed on some brand new clothes for them, as well as a computer so they could do their homework instead of having to trek to the library.
It wasn’t on Belinda and Skye who hit it off following the swap their two eldest daughters Olivia Sethard-Wright (left) and Ashani Walker (right) have become best friends
In the special episode revisiting the two families, Skye showed Belinda her clothing designs which Belinda was incredibly impressed with and promised to invest in her business and help to promote it
Since appearing the two families have kept in regular contact and spent Boxing Day together to celebrate the festive season.
Skye said of their close relationship: ‘I’ve got a new friend, a new family member. My daughter has a new sister, best cousin, whatever you want to call it.’
Belinda enjoyed a hug with Skye as she agreed: ‘I’ve made a friend and it’s been great to have our children be friends.
‘To see someone do so well on their own, she just deserves a medal.’
Rich House Poor House Changed My Life is available to watch on My5player online
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