“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.”