Home Group gas plumber Stuart Rich sitting in a chair talking

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Fears over job turned into much-needed support for North East gas plumber

Matt Roberts

Matt Roberts, PR and media advisor

“I honestly expected to get finished. I don’t think I would have gotten through it if I hadn’t been working here.”

After suffering a medical emergency only a month into working at Home Group, gas plumber Stuart Rich was understandably concerned.

Still in his probationary period, he had his kids and his mortgage to think about and being told he would be unable to drive for six months – a big part of his new role – felt like a hammer blow.

Fearing the worst, he was instead met with compassion and understanding.

Stuart said: “When I was told I could not drive, I was numb. That’s the only thing I can say. I was totally numb.

“But I got a phone call off Home Group to say your job is safe, don’t worry. It was like having Mount Everest lifted off my shoulders.”

After a short time recovering at home, Stuart was back to work doing the job he loves and adapting to the slightly unusual circumstances.

Once things had settled down though, he found himself struggling with another health problem, but was once again met with support from his employer.

“After things had subsided, I was having a problem with my left eye, so I decided to go to the opticians. It was then someone at Home Group told me I could get a voucher to cash in for that, so it didn’t cost me anything.

“Since then, they’ve been able to refer me to Sunderland Eye Hospital and I’m under a consultant progressing, getting tests and the support I need.

“At that time in my life, things were upside down. I didn’t know if I was coming or going. £50 might not sound like a lot to some people, but if you’re struggling it can be a huge deal.”

Stuart continues to be able to get the support he needs, and received the news he was waiting for – confirmation from his doctor that, after six months and a second CT scan, he was fit and able to drive once again.

“My face must have lit up when I read the message off the doctor to say I could drive again. I don’t think I would have gotten through what I had gotten through if I hadn’t been working at Home Group.”

Employee health benefits are a very important part of what Home Group offers to its employees, recognising that people may avoid seeking medical help if they are concerned about the cost involved or fears it could impact their job.

Visit our careers page to find out more about Home Group employee benefits.

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