A young couple couldn’t contain their tears of joy when a self-made millionaire offered them jobs at her luxury, high-end property company after hearing how they had struggled with debt.
Heather, 24, and Bradley, 22 from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire – who stick to a strict budget of £87.52 per week and have to support their young two-year-old daughter Lois – were overcome with emotion when offered the opportunity for a fresh start at the end of an episode of Rich House, Poor House.
Abi Hookway, a Managing Director at Touchstone Education, as well as a property investor, has a company with assets worth £7 million. When she and her business partner Gordie heard how the cost of living crisis was impacting people, the pair decided to act to help Heather and Bradley.
As well as job offers, they also insisted on paying for a relocation package, which left the young couple – who currently work full-time admin roles – overwhelmed.
An emotional Bradley, who will be earning four times his current salary in a new sales position, couldn’t believe the great news.
Heather, 24, and Bradley, 22 from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire – who stick to a strict budget of £87.52 and have to support their young two-year-old daughter Lois
‘We’re going to work harder than anyone for you,’ the emotional father promised in the episode, which airs on Channel 5 at 9pm on Sunday.
Meanwhile Heather was speechless when told that she would be offered a job in the company’s HR department.
‘I just can’t believe it’s real and happened to us,’ Heather told the programme. ‘We’ve been in this position for so long…’
‘We’ve just been offered the most life changing surreal opportunity that we’ll get in our life.’
Divorced single mother-of-two Abi, who was herself once saddled with £24,000 worth of debt, but now spends as much as £5,000 on designer clothes in one outing, knows the importance of a good job and recounted getting her first start in property.
‘Boom, that was the day my life changed,’ she said. ‘It was a gamechanger for me and my children.
‘I decided to divorce my husband and anybody that goes through divorce with young kids you know how hard that is.
‘I’d moved into a little rented house but I was in £24,000 worth of debt because I’d just been not very good with money and I can remember there being some really tough times.
Abi Hookway – a Managing Director at Touchstone Education, as well as a property investor – has a company with assets worth of £7 million
It’s no wonder that the couple caught Abi’s eye as potential employees, as part of their week included a business pitch to property experts the millionaire works with
‘I think the first year in property – I’d paid off all my debt.’
She now has an estate agency which works on behalf of developers to sell off plan property.
‘My portfolio’s worth about £6-7 million pounds,’ she revealed. ‘It makes £300,000 a year.’
Abi, her two children Ellie and Thomas, and business partner Gordie – who is also an ex-boyfriend – had an eye-opening experience when forced to tackle a budget of £87.52 per week.
Her kids visited a market for the first time, where Gordie taught the pair to haggle at a butcher stall.
‘It is quite difficult shopping on a budget,’ Thomas admitted, as the family’s weekly shop is usually done by the housekeeper.
Abi and Gordie couldn’t believe how much Heather and Bradley had to spend each month.
Rent was £695, full-time childcare came in at a soaring £764, utilities were £640 and debt came in at £650.
The young family were also delighted to treat their toddler to a theme park out – a luxury they normally can’t afford
‘They don’t earn enough money and they’ve got too much outgoing,’ Gordie said.
‘It just looks like everything’s gotten on top of them plus with the cost of living and everything going up recently that’s really gonna squeeze everything they’ve got…think of the pressure they’re under right now.’
‘I hate that, I absolutely hate it,’ Abi agreed. ‘But they must not have any choice.’
Meanwhile, Heather and Bradley were handed a weekly budget of £1,206.17.
It’s no wonder that the couple caught Abi’s eye as potential employees, as part of their week included a business pitch to property experts the millionaire works with – which they ‘nailed’ and earned incredibly high praise for.
The young family were also delighted to treat their toddler to a theme park out – a luxury they normally can’t afford – treating her to ice cream, rollercoasters and a dance.
The couple also dream of getting their own house – but saving for a deposit is impossible. Pictured in front of Abi’s house
The admittance fee alone for the trio cost £81 – just under the couple’s regular weekly budget.
Bradley admitted it was ‘bittersweet’ to see how much his daughter enjoyed herself, wishing he could spoil her more often.
The couple also dream of getting their own house – but saving for a deposit is impossible.
‘It’s like torturing yourself,’ Heather said. ‘You know I’d love to buy a house but were just thinking… I don’t see it happening any time soon.’
‘We know where we want to be but at the moment it feels like.. you know, you can earn more money but things are always going to get more expensive,’ Bradley added.
‘It feels like well never not sort of struggle.’
‘We are both very creative people, were willing to learn,’ Heather added. ‘And I know that if we did have knowledge and we did get that motivation from somewhere the ideas that we do have could come to life.’
Bradley also said that the family made mistakes with money because they were ‘naïve’ at the start.
‘We didn’t really know how to set bills up and that sort of thing,’ he said. ‘So basically they accumulated over time until it sort of got quite overwhelming.’
‘It was an unplanned pregnancy and it was terrifying to be honest,’ Heather said.
‘When the debt was at its peak, at its highest, the debt was coming it at around £12000.’
At the end, the couple were looking forward to a fresh start, and relocating from Mansfield to work for Abi.
‘Money doesn’t buy happiness, money buys choices and money buys freedom,’ Heather said.