A fresh start for stroke-survivor Pete

When Pete experienced a stroke, everything changed. Unable to manage his garden centre and nursery business and with the threat of bailiffs, he turned to Perennial for a lifeline.

Pete, garden centre managerPete* was only in his 30s, a successful business person, and with a young family to care for. His stroke came as a shock and Pete was left unable to work and keep the business functioning, he fell into serious financial debt. Thankfully a family member reached out to us on Pete’s behalf before things got any worse. We were able to speak with Pete and offer him the support that he needed.

“The debt had reached a bad stage when Perennial got involved. I’d been out of action for several months and couldn’t pay my bills. I wasn’t entitled to any government support and bailiffs were knocking at our door.”

We made sure the family had emergency support to buy food and put Pete in touch with water and energy suppliers to access any grants that the family were eligible for. Our debt adviser then took Pete through his options, including bankruptcy, and helped the family to decide how best to proceed.

“It was so reassuring when Perennial’s debt adviser came to visit. Just to know I had someone on my side. The team was very experienced and able to take me through all my debt options, giving good practical advice as well as making sure we had food on the table.  In the end I made the difficult and emotional decision to go bankrupt, but I didn’t even have the money to pay the bankruptcy fees, so Perennial made a grant to cover the application fee. It was draining to lose everything my family and I had worked for, but in some ways, it was like a clean slate and it was a big relief when it happened.”

We supported Pete for about 18 months. Initially, we had had regular calls and visits which gradually reduced as he began to get back on his feet. We’ll always be there for him if he ever needs us again, but we’re pleased to say that he’s doing really well now.

“My past still haunts me, but my family and Perennial really pulled me through it. I have a better quality of life now, I enjoy my kids and the weight is off my shoulders as well as the pressure that nearly ended me. Despite all the difficulty and hardship, I’ve got my life back on track and I’ve just bought a new family home.

My advice to others is if you’re struggling you need to reach out and do it sooner rather than later. I couldn’t have done it without Perennial. They gave me the strength to keep moving forward.”

*Name changed to protect anonymity. Library photo used.

If you, or someone you know needs help, find out more about Perennial’s free and confidential services for anyone who has worked, or works in the horticulture sector in the UK. This includes gardeners, nursery owners and workers, garden designers, landscapers, arborists, foresters, garden centre staff, commercial growers, turf maintenance specialists and many more.

Call us free in confidence on 0800 093 8543 or complete our contact form for help.

Pete, garden centre manager