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Families struggle as impact of Redcar closure starts to hit home

Hundreds of families in the North East are struggling to come to terms with the impact of the impending closure of the SSI steelworks plant in Redcar.

Paul Maven worked at the SSI plant in Redcar Credit: ITV News

Remaining workers are due to be laid off on a rolling basis after the official receiver announced the blast furnace would be turned off, and the coke ovens powered down, as no "viable" offers from potential buyers had come forward to save the works.

At this time of year in particular, such news can hit hard, as many of the 2,200 families affected now look to a rather more frugal Christmas holiday than planned.

Father-of-two Paul Maven is among those employees now looking for work, as operations at the plant he had envisaged forging a career with start to wind down after 98 years.

He told ITV News at Ten he had been proud to have been part of tradition, and had planned to spend the next 30 or 40 years of his working life at the Teesside factory.

Now, he's fighting his former colleagues for new positions - with as many as 120 former Redcar workers applying at any one time.

Paul and other workers look for work at a local job fair Credit: ITV News

His wife Anna said she had not slept since hearing the news that the plant had been earmarked for closure.

It is stressful, and it is worrying. It's the stress of thinkingthat we've only got this amount of money coming in at the end of the month - how are we going to make it stretch?

For Paul, it's had a massive impact emotionally. He had real high hopes for his future at the steelworks - he feels now like he's being punished, having to go to the job centre and sign on.

This is going to take some getting used to.

– Anna Maven, wife

For them - and many others - free days out help them make ends meet, but with Christmas around the corner, they say they may have to resort to joint Christmas presents for their two daughters.

Video report by ITV News correspondent Dan Rivers:

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