Hard-up teenager Stefanie skips meals

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STEFANIE Pearson studies performing arts - but sometimes struggles to stay on her feet.

The 18-year-old often skips meals to save money as she lives on her own and finds it hard to make ends meet.

Stefanie said: “I will often skip lunch, although I try and make sure I have breakfast, and sometimes it will be late in the day before I eat.

“It costs around £4 to buy a lunch, dessert and drink at college and I can’t afford that.

“It does make me feel tired. Sometimes, I find myself sitting down, on what is a very active course, when I should be up on my feet and ready to go.”

Stefanie still hopes to complete a degree despite her financial hardship. She receives £112.50 of income support every fortnight, and £300 a term from the college’s bursary fund.

She added: “I think more support, including free lunches, should be available to students struggling financially.

“It’s very difficult to get a job and I don’t want to stay on benefits.

“That’s why I have to come to college, to change my life and make something of myself.”