Employment support creates better future for Chris

18 January 2024


Redundancy came as a massive shock for Devon-based gardener Chris.  In the space of a few short days his whole life was turned upside down, and to make matters worse he and his partner had just taken the keys for a new house with mortgage to repay.

Finding employment was now his priority and through the help of Perennial’s employment support programme, Chris was supported to discover a new career.

Chris had an established career working as a Head Gardener, but when he was suddenly made redundant in 2020 he felt desperate and anxious about how he would afford the repayments on his mortgage. Following a recommendation, he called the Perennial helpline.

“I was put in touch with a Perennial caseworker who was amazing. It was such a relief to know that someone cared, and I was blown away by the response from the charity.”

His Perennial caseworker immediately referred Chris to Perennial’s Employment Support programme, delivered in partnership with an expert provider.

“The support I received prepared the ground for my future career. My employment coach worked intensively with me to build my CV, fine-tune job applications and give me interview practice.”

With the employment help ongoing Chris also welcomed support from Perennial’s Debt Advice Team.

“Money was tight so we used the expertise of a Perennial Debt Adviser to talk through ways that my partner and I could eke our money out. Having a proper look at what money we had, maximising what was coming in and trying to reduce our expenditure really kept us afloat during a difficult time.”

Before long a job came up with a plant retailer and Chris applied. It seemed to be the perfect role for him using his horticultural expertise whilst working from home in a job which suited his lifestyle.

“I was interviewed and called back the next day with the good news – I’d been successful! The support I received from Perennial played a massive part in getting me the job.”

Contacting Perennial so quickly after his circumstances had changed gave Chris time to work out his options whilst still receiving redundancy payments. The employment support gave him the opportunity to create a better future for him and his partner.

“Perennial dug me out of a really big hole, and I can now see that what felt like the toughest time of my life actually gave me the most amazing opportunity. People in the horticulture industry are lucky to have access to this amazing career service.”

*Name has been changed to protect client confidentiality and photo is posed by a model.