A schoolgirl was left close to tears after her cash-strapped parents surprised her with a new bike in a touching moment on Channel 5’s Rich House, Poor House.
Mother Sarah Endacott and her partner Richard Flintham, from Hull, are in the poorest ten percent of families in the UK and struggle to feed their four children on a weekly budget of just £140, leaving little extra money for special treats.
But the parents were able to splash out on the lime green bike for schoolgirl Mariah after they swapped lives – and homes – with the wealthy Scaife-Lacy family, who live in a £720,000 five-bedroom converted stately manor just a stone’s throw away.
Sarah and Richard made the most of the Scaife-Lacys £2,700-a-week budget by treating their family to a rare takeaway and indulging in an expensive date night.
Meanwhile Phil and Kerris Scaife-Lacy, who are in the UK’s wealthiest 10 per cent of families, were shocked when they ran out of gas while staying at Sarah and Richard’s £124,000 semi-detached council house and found themselves scraping together coins for a tin of baked beans at the local shop.
Counting the pennies: Mother Sarah with baby Ezmae, children Charlie, Mariah (front), Harvey and partner Richard outside their three-bedroom, semi-detached council house in Hull
No expense spared: The family swapped lives with the Scaife-Lacys, pictured, who live in a five-bedroom family home within a converted stately manor just a stone’s throw away
Upgrade: Sarah, Richard and their family made the most of life in the larger home, pictured
Surprise! Schoolgirl Mariah was treated to a new bike, something her parents said they were pleased they didn’t have to worry about thanks to the £2,700 weekly budget
Rare treat: Sarah and Richard enjoyed being able to treat their children to a takeaway
Sarah and Richard, who have delayed getting married because they cannot afford to pay for a wedding, are parents to Sarah’s two children from a previous relationship, Charlie and Mariah, Richard’s son Harvey, and their daughter, Ezmae.
They took part in the TV experiment to experience what it was like to live on the other end of the wealth divide and to see whether money truly can buy happiness.
The family were astounded to discover their rich counterparts had a whopping £2,700 to spend a week – more than 15 times their own weekly budget.
On their first night in the Scaife-Lacys sprawling home the family tucked into a ‘rare treat’ of a Chinese takeaway.
They later treated Sarah’s daughter Mariah to a brand new bike and delighted in being able to give each of their children £5 each for their school lunch money.
Sarah said: ‘Her little eyes welled up. It was nice being able to give her something without worrying about the cost.’
Spacious: Sarah and Richard enjoyed the Scaife-Lacy’s spacious five-bedroom house – spending time together in the kitchen
Expansive hobby: There was even a night of firsts for Richard, who tried out Taekwondo with his children, as Phil enjoys doing the same with his sons
Indulging: Richard and Sarah of enjoying a ‘date night’ as part of their immersive seven-day swap with the Scaife-Lacy family
The Scaife-Lacys earned their wealth through owning several company between them, including an engineering firm Phil founded 15 years ago and Kerris’ two hair and beauty salons.
It’s a stark contrast to the income of stay-at-home mother Sarah and residential care support worker Richard, who have to survive on a small £170 for their ‘blended’ family of six.
They also share their three-bedroom semi with a French bulldog Bruno and corn snake Rossi.
The couple were also able to spoil themselves, with Richard, who doesn’t normally like to waste money on alcohol, spending one night drinking with Phil’s friends until the early hours of the morning.
Business owners: Phil and Kerris Scaife-Lacy with their children Cooper and Oakley outside their home in Beverley which they left behind to travel six miles down the road to Hull
Personal connection: Phil became emotional when he discovered the bank that his father first met his mother in, just down the road from his swap house
Meanwhile the Scaife-Lacys spend their large disposable income on luxuries including family ski holidays.
Their extra allowance also means their two children enjoy a number of different activities, including piano and tennis lessons, and Taekwondo – something which Richard tries out in the show with the children.
Both families admitted they had learned something from the other, with Phil admitting he thought he knew what life was like ‘on the other side’.
‘I don’t think money makes you happy,’ he said. ‘People give you happiness, but money does give you choice.
‘You don’t know what it feels like unless you are in that situation.’
According to the Hull Daily Mail the family have since become close friends since filming for the show ended.
Rich House Poor House returns next Wednesday Channel 5 at 9pm