A reassuring friend for Stephen and Vicki

Stephen is a landscape gardener and has spent much of his career building domestic gardens for people in and around Leeds. He and his partner Vicki, who herself has a long-term health condition, have four children.

After working for a landscaping firm for many years Stephen decided to start his own business and for a time things were going well. Stephen is diabetic and around 18 months ago he started to lose his sight. After eye surgery, Stephen had to face the fact that he must give up horticulture and this led to him being diagnosed with clinical depression.

Stephen and Vicki learned about Perennial on a visit to their local Citizens’ Advice Bureau and the charity has given the family financial and emotional support and advice during what has undoubtedly been a difficult time for the whole family.

“Perennial were a lifeline for me. If it wasn’t for Perennial our relationship would have broken down. Without their help we wouldn’t be where we are today. It’s really reassuring to know that Perennial will always be there; that’s a great help for me, both physically and mentally.”

Stephen & Vicki’s Story

“Perennial has been there for us, for me. We were doing OK when Stephen was working but almost overnight our financial situation changed and we really didn’t know how we were going to cope. Perennial helped us with our finances and have really supported both Stephen and me through his depression. We had never heard of Perennial and only learned about them by chance when we visited the CAB. It took a while for us to accept that we needed help but we have no regrets and are just so glad we came across them. I don’t think we would have known what to do without them.

It takes courage to ask for help and as working people we were proud. We would encourage others in similar situations to get in touch with Perennial sooner, rather than later. We’re still struggling – Stephen is learning to cope with his loss of sight and I make regular trips to hospital to avoid losing the use of my legs altogether. But Perennial continues to be there for us and we know we can call on our caseworker for advice and support as and when we need it.”

If you know someone who 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 0800 093 8543 or email services@perennial.org.uk