New Monkwray Livery - Gillian Lister
As farm incomes declined in the late 1990s, Gillian and her husband, Ian, increasingly worked off the farm to supplement the household in come. However, when Ian had a stroke and lost his sight, the situation changed dramatically. "Suddenly, I was solely responsible for the family income and for caring for my husband and family." Things went from bad to worse when FMD struck. Although the farm remained FMD free, there was no way of selling stock, and the feed bills pushed the bank balance into the red.
Wanting to get out of the downward spiral, Gillian started to investigate starting her own business. Being passionate about horses, she pursued the idea of a livery. She had already dabbled in providing stabling, but she lacked many of the additional facilities required. Gillian approached the Rural Women's Network, and started to work towards her goal. A business plan was developed and an application made to DEFRA's Rural Enterprise Scheme. This was successful, and work began on livery for 15 horses, an arena and a turn out area.
Gillian recognises that staying focused and working towards her goal have been crucial, and she is looking forward to the future. She now has firm foundations in place to develop and grow her successful business.