A WEE COUNTY mother has launched a fundraiser to help families struggling with the cost of living crisis after a Hollywood actress stepped in to lend a hand.

Carolynne Hunter, from Tillicoultry, takes care of her 13-year-old daughter Freya, who requires full-time oxygen and at-home nursing care for severe complex health problems.

Last year, Carolynne was struggling with an extortionate energy bill to run the equipment pivotal to caring for her daughter, with the amount due rising into the tens of thousands.

She shared her story online, explaining that the bill was becoming far too difficult to pay, and received help from an unlikely source.

Titanic actress Kate Winslet heard about Carolynne’s plight and stepped in to donate £17,000 through GoFundMe.

Now, Carolynne is looking to pay it forward and has launched a GoFundMe to donate money to Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) to ensure families in similar situations don’t struggle this winter.

She said: “Despite campaigning for months to the government about what would happen, nothing changed.

“I told my story and it captured the hearts of so many people, who wanted to help me, including Kate Winslet.

“Now, a year on from that fundraiser, inspired by all the kind donations, I want to raise money for families in Scotland who have children with complex needs and are struggling with expensive power bills.”

The money raised by Carolynne and her fundraiser will be given to CHAS, who can then redistribute the funds to families in need through their hardship fund.

Carolynne has set a goal of £15,000 which can help support a number of families as temperatures drop and bills rise this winter.

Carolynne continued: “If you have a child with complex needs, you cannot compromise on their care.

“Many need life support machines, ventilators, medicine drivers – not to mention making sure the house is warm and comfortable for them and carers.

“This can result in mounting bills, debt and anxiety for parents who already have enough on their plate.

“I have spent the last year continuing with my campaigning to illustrate how detrimental the increase in energy prices are for families with children living with severe complex health needs who require a high level of nursing support and equipment at home.

“The more funds we can raise, the more families we will be able to help with their energy bills this year so please give what you can.”

Carolynne’s fundraiser can be found here.