Teynham mum-of-nine books Spanish holiday for whole family after outcry over bid for bigger council house
Cheryl and Robert Prudham
A mother-of-nine who triggered a furious backlash for demanding a bigger council house has revealed she has booked a two-week family holiday in Spain.
Cheryl Prudham, from Teynham, announced on her Facebook page she is taking all her children and husband Robert on the overseas trip.
The 31-year-old has also moaned on the social networking site about the hassle of applying for passports for all nine of her children - so she can take them to Menorca.
Now she has revealed the family of 11 have paid the deposit for a fortnight on the Spanish holiday isle, next May, after receiving a benefits backpayment.
She wrote: "Have to do all my passport applications again, pain in the a***!"
Mrs Prudham, who publicly claimed benefits scroungers were giving supersize families a "bad name", also boasted she plans to go on a shopping spree for her family.
She wrote to friends: "Can't wait to go Christmas shopping tomorrow," before explaining she had a "great big back pay".
The carer later explained she had been paid back "working tax credits" she was owed through her part-time job.
The Prudhams in the cramped conditions of their Teynham home
Her comments were posted at the same time the family are bidding for a new house, which could cost the taxpayer another £5,000-a-year.
But defiant Mrs Prudham said she does not care what people think and insists they are entitled to the trip.
She said: "It will be our first-ever holiday and I've worked my backside off to earn the deposit for it.
"It's not me who deserves a holiday, it's my children who deserve a holiday just like anyone else. Why shouldn't they have what other children have...?" - Cheryl Prudham
"It's not me who deserves a holiday, it's my children who deserve a holiday just like anyone else.
"Why shouldn't they have what other children have? They are really excited to be going.
"It is literally going to take us about a year to pay off. I don't even know how we will afford it, but we won't let our kids down so we'll get there somehow."
She added: "I don't think there's any wrong in going Christmas shopping either.
"I would understand if I was spending all the money on myself, but it's going on my kids.
"I'm doing my bit to provide for them so they can have a life like any other child."
Mrs Prudham and 28-year-old husband Robert both work 20 hours a week as part-time carers for the elderly at Scott Care in Sittingbourne, but top up their lifestyles with £38,000 in benefits.
It means they live off the equivalent of an £80,000-a-year gross annual salary.
Neither pays income tax because their earnings fall below the minimum threshold.
But because they work part-time, they are exempt from the benefits cap - introduced earlier this year.
Mrs Prudham admits her family live "comfortably", but cannot scrape together the £1,000-a-month rent on a larger private property.
Cheryl Prudham with daughters Caitlin and Masie
And despite a sea of negative comments, the mother-of-nine insists she could even have another child if handed a bigger house.
She said: "I'm not saying I'm going to have another child, but if want to have another one, I will."
She had her first son George, 13, when she was still just 17, followed by second son, Jack, now 12, and her eldest daughter Caitlin, now eight.
But the unemployed mother then had three unplanned pregnancies - Maisie, seven, Lillie, five, and four-year-old Madison.
In March 2009, she met husband Robert and they had Leon, three, then Lenny, two, and daughter Lainey in January this year.
The family currently live in a three-bed terraced home, which means their four girls are left to sleep in two bunk beds in the property's largest room.
Mrs Prudham added: "It's ridiculous that people are so quick to judge.
"The weekend just gone I started work at 4pm and didn't get home until 11.55pm. And how many people can say they will be working Christmas Day this year? Me and my husband will be.
"People just sit behind their computers and bully people, saying things they wouldn't say to your face."
Mrs Prudham has been campaigning for a bigger house after moving from Manchester to her current AmicusHorizon property last year.
The housing association said it was "working with the resident to assist with her situation".
Mrs Prudham said: "I just want an extra bedroom and a bigger kitchen so the whole family can sit around the table at meal times.
"People are slating me for having nine children, but I've got nothing to be ashamed of.
"People have commented they are going to try and stop me being rehoused, so if I do get a four-bedroom house, I’ll be sure to let everyone know."
Stories you might have missed
- Click here for more Sittingbourne news
- Click here for more news from across the county