Help my parents' business

A friend once told me one of the greatest sayings I have ever heard:
"Life has much more imagination than!"
At the time I was in my late 20s, working for my father's business earning a very good salary but always complaining about my job. I was describing to my friend how hard I was finding the fact that I was blessed to have this great opportunity to be the boss of my own self, yet I was so tired of doing something I hated.
Regardless of the good return I was getting from my job at the time, I could never get used to being a civil engineer dealing with construction and spending most of my time on unfinished building sites in all weather conditions you can imagine.
Less than 4 years later, in October, 2012, I was forced to move to Manchester, which resulted in a new job opportunity. I did not decide to leave my father's construction business, I was forced to because of the recession that hit Cyprus and affected the construction industry very badly. It was a life changing situation and it turned my life upside down in the most unexpected way.
2.5 years of very poor cash flow because of countless unpaid contracts as a result of the recession made my father a very depressed man, and so I took over and ran the business when I was just 29-years-old. I put so much effort into trying to salvage my father’s business, but it got to the point where we could no longer afford to pay our last 10 employees, and so I searched for something new.
I hit rock bottom in Cyprus and I no longer had the money to cover basic needs. I started to see the point where I would no longer be able to afford food to survive, and so I packed my stuff and moved to Manchester with less than £300 to my name.
Thanks to the support of a good friend, I immediately started work once I got to Manchester as my friend kindly offered me a permanent, full-time job, with good prospects.
Six months after I moved to the UK, my parents relocated close-by as they could no longer afford the basics in Cyprus either.
I can recall the first few days with them here. I was crying every night after long hours at the office, trying to learn my new job while applying for various jobs for my 60 year old dad and 57 year old mother, while continually questioning why this happened to me and my family. My parents have worked so hard all their lives, and for them to be left with nothing, literally, just did not seem fair.
Months passed by and we still hadn’t had a single response for the 100+ job applications we sent out. No-one wanted to employ a 60 year old man with no experience in this country, so we had to think about something different.
After many hours of research we came to the idea of a convenience shop! We thought a small convenience shop could help them earn money for the basics and maybe allow them to help my youngest brother, who was 17 at the time, to preparing for university.
After a couple of months research we shortlisted two stores which we thought we could secure finance from my bank... It took us another 10 weeks, more than 15 applications and long conversations with lenders to persuade one of them to approve our £17,000 application.
We eventually got approved for the loan we needed so badly, and my parents have been running the convenience shop ever since – 13 months in total. The convenience shop allows my parents to earn a living and get by in life, as well as helping my younger brother with his tuition fees when they can afford to.
The shop is doing somewhat okay, but we have not had the volume of sales we were expecting as it still needs to have some important work done to it, to make it look more appealing to customers.
I have gradually started to feel stronger in my new job and I feel so lucky to be given this chance after all we have been through as a family back in Cyprus.
I wish all the time that I had the money to help my parents do all the necessary work myself, but unfortunately I do not and that is why I have decided to give "gofundme" a shot.
My aim is to collect £10K which will enable us to do some basic improvement works, ideally, in the next 30 days. This money will be so important to me and my parents and it will mean we have a real chance at transforming the shop and giving them a real chance to make a steady income to live off.
I would like to express my gratitude to all of the people reading this, regardless of if you are helping me or not, but just for the time you spent on my story.

Thank you,

  • Anonymous 
    • £10 
    • 82 mos
  • Anonymous 
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  • Anonymous 
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    • £40 
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  • Katina Letsos 
    • £20 
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See all


Stelios Charalambous 
Summerstown, ENG
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