Sam Pinnock was earning a steady £400-£600 a week as a chef when the coronavirus crisis shut off his source of income. First, he lost his job helping with Sunday buffets at the country club near his home in Hertfordshire; then the London street stalls where he freelanced on other days closed.
Benefits payments and help from the government’s self-employed support scheme do not cover his rent and living costs as a lodger. His landlady — who did not want him to find a new job because she was worried about contracting the virus — agreed at first that he could make up the difference by doing odd jobs in the garden, but he moved out after the relationship broke down.
For the past two weeks, he has been living in a converted shed in his parents’ garden, hunting for work and “robbing Peter to pay Paul” while trying to
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