A single mum of eight has had her dream of coming off benefits and starting her own business dashed by callous thieves who stole the burger van she had saved for months to buy.
Naomi Woods, 40, was out of work for 15 years bringing up her family. Desperate to pay her own way, she took night shifts at her local Asda supermarket in Shoebury, Essex, just before Christmas last year, and saved over £2,000 to fund her business dream.
The burger van was being stored in a lock-up in Southend when it was stolen, as Naomi was still saving up to insure it.
The devastated mum says she now feels all her hard work has been in vain.
"It's so frustrating," she told the Echo News. "I feel like I've worked for months for nothing, all my wages since November have been for nothing."
Ms Woods revealed she was worried about finances because of the benefit cuts which would affect her from this spring. She said she had hoped to have her business up and running before then.
"I wanted to work, but I've got no choice but to work because of the benefit cuts coming in this April, I wouldn't survive," she said. "I wanted to get in early and get a job before everyone was out there trying to get a job, plus my youngest starts school in September."
The police have asked for anyone with information about Naomi's van to call 101.