A GRAPHIC designer from Carlisle is embarking on a charitable experiment in which she will cut out life's modern conveniences to help local families in need ahead of the holiday season. 

From December 11 to 15, Claire Armstrong will be giving up a list of everyday necessities, including her car, money, television, mobile, wifi, internet, washing machine, as well as certain foods like meat, sugar, and fats. 

Instead, she will be sticking to basic foods consisting of rice, beans, whole grains, fruit, vegetables, milk, and water.

"I actually think it could be quite liberating," she said.

"I may be climbing the walls but my mind is made up I'll find it liberating, so fingers crossed.

"The phone situation is going to be the biggest thing. We're all addicted these days, but if I need to research for my work, that'll be difficult - I'll also be missing a bit of telly before bed."

With her diet being restricted, Claire plans to make a 'massive pot of soup' at the start of the challenge which will hopefully carry her through.

The response to the initiative has been overwhelmingly positive, with over £1,500 raised within the first few weeks. 

"The response has just been really heartwarming so far," she said.

"I thought I was being a bit optimistic setting a two thousand pound goal with it being Christmas time, but I've been pleasantly surprised with everyone's generosity." 

If Claire hits the target of £2,000, she hopes she aims to have four families benefit from the money.

"I've spent £500 on vouchers for the first family lined up. I've got food vouchers, a multi-store card that covers Primark and Argos.

"There's two kids in the first family, aged 6 and 8, so they'll be able to get bikes for Christmas," she said.

To donate to Claire's fundraiser, visit www.gofundme.com/f/ut522-help-a-local-family-this-christmas