Emmerdale’s Gemma Oaten forced to sign up for benefits when play was shutdown

Gemma Oaten acknowledges that she was compelled to apply for Universal Credit since she was unable to find work during the coronavirus shutdown.

The actor who rose to popularity in 2011 playing Rachel Breckle on Emmerdale was performing across the nation in a play that was abruptly called off.

Gemma’s career has flourished ever since she left Emmerdale in 2015, landing her parts on Coronation Street and Holby City as well as the ITV show Million Pound Pawn.

Away from screens, Gemma serves as the CEO of SEED, the eating disorder charity that her parents Marg and Dennis founded.

Gemma, like many others, was left jobless when the world came to a standstill, but she still had bills and rent to pay.

She revealed her toughest financial struggles to the Mail on Sunday, saying: “The worst moment was in 2020 at the onset of lockdown.

When Alan Ayckbourn’s show Ten Times Table was canceled while I was on tour, I received no remuneration, like many other people in the business.

“People assume that if you’ve appeared on television, you must be wealthy, but I was renting, and I began to have sleepless nights worrying about my payments. By May, I realized I wouldn’t be able to make it work.

“I then exhaled deeply and did what many other individuals did. Onto Universal Credit I went.”

Before taking on more virtual public speaking assignments, Gemma noted that she also received a self-employment grant from the government to help her pay her rent.

The Hull-born celebrity later admitted that she had previously been paid £7,000 for giving the keynote address at a banquet, saying that she had saved the money and used it to pay for a vacation.

Recently, Gemma made an appearance on ITV’s Million Pound Pawn, where she discussed her intention to sell a ring that belonged to her late grandmother.

The actress claimed to have no notion of the ring’s value, adding that it might “even be worth 20 pence.”

Gemma was told by a Sheffield jeweler that the ring was actually worth an unbelievable £10,500.

She was shocked by the information and remarked, “I can give my parents a break by taking them away.

“This money can fund so much that we could utilize it to bring the charity to schools,” someone once said. “It can go toward the charity and all the ambitions we’ve had for it.”

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