Head gardener and father of two, Martin, and his wife have always worked hard to provide for their two small children. But the young Sussex-based couple found themselves in financial difficulty and life got even harder following a close family bereavement. Experiencing anxiety and unable to see a way forward, Martin found Perennial.
In 2019, Martin and his family were finding it difficult to make ends meet. Even with his job as an experienced Head Gardener at a golf course, and his wife, Sarah, working full-time as a carer, the family’s income meant that any problem became a massive financial headache.
“It was a tough time for us. Sarah’s father passed away at the start of the year and with her working nightshifts it meant that we hardly saw each other. Money was tight which added to the pressure. On top of that my mum was seriously unwell and I was feeling increasingly anxious and overwhelmed. When I came across the Perennial advert promoting financial support for families, I never expected that we would be eligible for help because of my senior role, but to our relief we were!”
Martin reached out to Perennial for help and was offered supermarket vouchers towards the cost of food and ‘Back to School’ support for the family so that they could buy much-needed school uniform for their eldest child. This was just the beginning.
The family were assigned a caseworker who took time to understand the challenges they were facing and helped to find solutions. The team provided benefits advice to ensure the family were getting all the support they were entitled to, tools to help them to manage their money and ways to reduce their bills.
“We were blown away by the support we received from Perennial – the charity has been our lifeline. They made sure we were getting the right benefits, gave us advice on how to deal with our debt and helped create a budget so we could take control of our money and work towards a more stable future.”
By looking at the family’s whole situation and taking the time to understand their needs, their caseworker was able to develop personalised help and support for Martin’s family through what was a particularly difficult time. But it wasn’t just help with money, their caseworker also encouraged Martin to get help for his mental health.
“Our experience with Perennial has been life-changing. Two years ago, we felt helpless and unsupported. Today, even just knowing we can speak to someone at Perennial if anything happens, makes all the difference. The pressure has been lifted and that’s an amazing feeling for me and my family.”
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.