How EastEnders star Maddy Hill survived #BelowTheLine | ActionAid UK

One of our favourite EastEnders actresses Maddy Hill took on the Live Below The Line challenge for ActionAid last week. She lived on just £1 a day for 5 days as part of the initiative which raises awareness and funds to support our work fighting poverty. Here’s how she got on #BelowTheLine.

Maddy Hill doing the Live Below the Line challenge for ActionAid
Maddy Hill doing the Live Below the Line challenge for ActionAid

Last week, I joined thousands of people across the world on the Live Below The Line challenge. I wanted to step into the shoes of the 1.2 billion people around the world who are living below the poverty line. Now as somebody that loves food and thinks about it all day long – this was going to be a tough challenge. However, I saw it as a great opportunity to raise some money to support ActionAid’s important work changing the lives of women and children who live on the margins of survival.

My rollercoaster of a week

I did my big shop at the weekend and throughout Monday I managed to keep pretty upbeat. But by Tuesday morning things started to take their toll. My energy really began to fade and long days at work meant that rather than sleeping my usual seven hours a night my body was demanding nine to ten hours.

Fluffing my lines and daydreaming about baguettes

By Thursday, I was forgetting my lines on set and began feeling irritable and properly emotional! It didn’t help that a new canteen had opened at work on the Monday too so I found myself zoning in on my cast mates' conversations about how great the new baguettes were!

I realised that day-to-day, I’m so used to eating food which has my body running at its optimum and gives me energy to get through even the longest and busiest of days. But on this carb heavy diet of rice and porridge, I literally had no energy and felt like a totally different type of ‘full’. It made me think how are those 1.2 billion people living below the poverty line meant to have the fight, the energy to pull themselves out of poverty? All of their limited energy must be focused on just finding enough food to eat each day.

Doing it for Nepal

Seeing the devastating loss and destruction caused by the earthquake in Nepal this week meant the timing of the #belowtheline challenge couldn’t have been more powerful. This is a country where even before the earthquake 7 million of its population lived on less than £1 a day. It really hit home how important it was to be supporting ActionAid’s  emergency response to the people of Nepal in a such a great time of need.

You can still take part

I’m so glad I took on the #livebelowtheline challenge for ActionAid and am super appreciative of everyone who supported and sponsored me throughout the week. It made me even more determined that the shocking number of people living below the line has to change and that we can do something about it.

Will you help?

If you didn't do the challenge last week it's not too late! You can still take part and raise funds for ActionAid any time up until the end of June.