A single mother of three cried tears of joy after the millionaire family she traded places with carpeted her whole house.
Tanya Buck and her three children, 16-year-old Dylan, 10-year-old Faith and three-month-old baby Esme, moved into a three-bed council house in Basingstoke this year after spending last Christmas homeless in a B&B.
This time around the Buck family swapped homes with the wealthy Hogan family for a week on the Christmas special episode of Channel 5’s Rich House, Poor House,
As the Bucks spent a week living in a £1.9 million five-bedroom mansion in Farnham, husband and wife Noel and Lisa Hogan lived in Tanya’s home which was without flooring and wallpaper because the family was too strapped for cash to decorate.
In awe of what single mother and part-time cleaner Tanya had achieved surviving on £142.80 a week, the wealthy Hogan family, who have a weekly budget of £3,336, decided to give the Bucks a very special Christmas present.
When Tanya and her family returned home they were stunned to find out it had been transformed with new carpet laid just in time for Esme starting to crawl.
As the Bucks stepped through the door, Tanya broke down in tears overwhelmed with happiness by the surprise and was hugged by her equally joyful children.
Discovering a letter which had been left by the Hogans, Tanya cried more tears of joy as the family had also offered to pay for decorators to finish the whole house.
Sobbing, she repeatedly said, ‘I can’t believe it.’
Thanking the Hogans, Tanya went on to tell the cameras:
Last Christmas was not good at all. I hope the kids didn’t pick up on it but I was really stressed and I had a lot on my mind.
Christmas is a financially stressful time anyway but then to find out at Christmas that we had to move and you’re having a baby…
This Christmas is completely and utterly the opposite end of the spectrum. This is going to be one Christmas we’ll never ever forget.
The Hogans hoped that by carpeting the house and arranging decorators it would take some pressure off Tanya this Christmas.
They added that the whole experience of trading homes left them with a more positive outlook saying:
It will be lovely for Esme just in time for her to be crawling. It’s a strange one for Santa to come up with but hopefully they’ll all be happy.
Money is lovely but its family that matters the most. I really do think she’s done a fantastic job.
At Christmas you realise what’s important and it’s love and family. Things like that you can’t buy.
Money isn’t what makes a person. It’s your morals, your work ethic.
You can catch up with the episode on My5 now.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.