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Wisbech family featured on ITV's Side Hustle

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A family hit hard by the cost of living crisis was given new hope, thanks to an ‘ultimate side hustle’ featured on ITV last week.

Former Blackheath and Saracens rugby player Malcolm Baker, of Wisbech, suffers from a painful, degenerative spinal disease which means he is unable to work and struggles to make ends meet.

But he hopes an innovative new sharing platform, dubbed ‘the Airbnb of everything’ will provide vital extra income for himself, his wife and their two children.

Malcolm and Amy Baker and their children. Credit: Malcolm Baker (collect) (57747688)
Malcolm and Amy Baker and their children. Credit: Malcolm Baker (collect) (57747688)

RentMy was set up by East Anglian entrepreneur, Tom West, to enable members to make money from hiring out items they already own.

Malcolm, 48, said: “I’m feeling positive. Life has changed massively for me in the last few years. I’ve gone from playing and coaching high-level rugby to being a wheelchair user.

“It’s hard for me to get a regular job because there are days that I just can’t get out. Even working from home is hard sometimes because my hands are too painful to type.

Malcolm in his playing days (57747686)
Malcolm in his playing days (57747686)

“Having Tom here was a revelation. He rummaged through our shed and pulled out a leaf blower, power tools and even a hot tub, that we use maybe once a year. These things are literally sat there gathering dust when they could be bringing in vital extra funds for us.”

RentMy is free to join and enables its users to rent out anything, from electric drills to fancy dress to musical instruments, safely and securely. Owners are covered by the company’s guarantee which covers items up to £5,000. Users are verified to minimise risk.

Founder Tom said: “Everyone is feeling the effects of the cost of living crisis, it’s a worrying time, with real fears around how we’re going to feed our families and heat our homes.

“It was fantastic to be a part of ITV’s Side Hustle programme, and to shine a spotlight on how we can help so many people unlock the value in their unused items.

Tom West, CEO of RentMy. Credit: RentMy (57747684)
Tom West, CEO of RentMy. Credit: RentMy (57747684)

“When you sell an item, you permanently lose access to it. By renting it out, over the course of a year you could earn two or three times the value of the item – and you still have it!”

Malcolm and his beautician wife, Amy (41), are hoping RentMy will help relieve the pressure of rising prices and improve their quality of life.

Malcolm said: “It gives me a chance to provide for my family, something I can actively do to support them. And I’ll use it the other way around too – I can rent things I only need occasionally rather than having to shell out for new stuff.”

The 30-minute episode was broadcast on June 30.

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