20-year-old who works seven days a week uses the gym for a shower

20-year-old who works seven days a week uses the gym for a shower

November 27, 2022

Factory worker, 20, with EIGHT pets survives on Pot Noodles and is forced to shower at the gym despite working 7 days a week due to the soaring cost of feeding his cats and dogs

  • Ashley Goudou, 20, from Mancroft, Bristol struggles to pay energy bills and eat 
  • The Mirror reported that he lives alone in a one-bedroom flat with his pets 
  • He does 10-hour shifts at £6.81 an hour and can’t afford a bike to get to work 

A 20-year-old who works seven days a week has revealed he is surviving on Pot Noodles and showering at the gym to make ends meet.

Ashley Goudou, from Mancroft, Bristol, lives in a one bedroom flat with four rescue cats and four rescue dogs, whom he feeds relying on donations from a local vet.

But despite working 10-hour shifts, seven days a week, his £6.81 hourly rate means he is struggling to survive, he told The Mirror. And because he’s strapped for cash, he can’t afford a bike or to pay for any other transport, and so he walks an hour in the dark to get to work every night. 

Ashley’s story comes amid a cost of living crisis during which mothers have revealed they are going without vital prescriptions to make ends meet as they can’t afford to pay the charge for their medicine.  

The pets are Ashley’s priority and he has relied on donations from a nearby vet to keep going, he spends roughly £3000 a month on the animals

The cost of living crisis refers to the fall in ‘real’ disposable incomes that many people are seeing at the moment. 

This means people now have less money to spend after accounting for taxation and inflation. 

While people struggling to make ends meet is sadly nothing new, things have been getting worse since late last year when inflation began outstripping wage and benefit increases.

According to Bristolian Ashley, his bills have skyrocketed, so despite earning nearly £2,000 a month, he has very little disposable income. 

This means he has had to choose between feeding himself, or feeding his pets, and he opts to go without so the animals can be fed.

And the costs of looking after the cats and dogs has surged in recent time, tripling from £1,000 a month to £3,000.

Bristol Animal Centre is now helping him out with donations so he can continue to care for them.

Weekly visits to Ambition Lawrence Weston community centre means he can pick up dog beds, cat litter and bags of food, as well as get free vet check-ups.

However, he says he is careful not to take too much, as he knows there are other people in more need.   

Despite the soaring cost of looking after his animals, Ashley refuses to give them up as he is concerned no one else will be able to give them the level of care he can.

He told the Mirror: ‘Handing them into a rescue isn’t an option for me, I wouldn’t have the heart. I’d rather not feed myself.’

Additionally, he says the animals are good for his mental health, which has suffered as a result of his financial woes and a relationship breakup earlier this year, after which he says his ‘dogs kept [him] going and gave [him] purpose’.

However, in spite of the help he has in paying for their care, he still spends a large proportion of his income on the animals, which has resulted in him struggling with other bills.

Surging energy prices have resulted in his gas being cut off, along with his wifi.

Ashley admitted he has now turned to ‘praying to God’ that he ‘can somehow afford to pay for everything’. 

He added: ‘I used to eat two healthy meals a day and now I’m just eating Pot Noodles because it’s all I can really afford.

‘I walk to the gym to shower because I can’t afford gas at home to have a bath. It’s ridiculous.’

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