Keeping Richard safe in retirement

Richard Parker is a retired gardener who lives in accommodation owned by Perennial. He was forced to give up his career in gardening aged 58 when aggressive cancer meant he could no longer work. He has lived at Perennial’s Barton Cottages for 15 years now and credits Perennial’s help with allowing him to live a good life in retirement.

“I was a teacher originally but I gave it up to follow my love of gardening and pursue that as a career. I moved to Devon and set up my own gardening and landscaping business, which prospered. However in my fifties things changed when I became ill – I was diagnosed with lymphoma and a tumour in my lung. My condition deteriorated rapidly and I could no longer work in this physically demanding job.

“It was then that I remembered Perennial. I had seen an advert for Perennial some time earlier in a local magazine and had kept it, in case I ever found myself in need of help. I contacted Perennial and they came to my rescue.

“I had to sell my bungalow as it had a mortgage and I couldn’t afford the payments when I wasn’t working. Once the mortgage was paid off there weren’t enough funds to buy another home, so I moved to a property owned by Perennial.

“I was lucky to have been allocated a place to live at Barton. Each cottage has its own private garden to enjoy, as well as a fantastic communal garden. It is one of six cottages owned by Perennial, so I live alongside other retired horticulturists creating a community, which is nice as I live alone.

“My cancer is in remission and I believe that it is thanks to Perennial’s support that I have been able to stay in remission and live longer into my retirement.”