A Mereside woman who lost her job when a home for injured ex-servicemen closed has used the set-back as a launch pad for her own business.
Animal lover Mary Freckleton has set up Paws a Second to keep pets on the Fylde coast properly fed.
Mary, 33, who looks after dozens of her own pets, including dogs, cats, chickens, ducks and even a pig at her home, found herself having to find a new job after being made redundant when the BLESMA home closed last October.
Trying to find a job that could work around looking after her assortment of furry friends was difficult, until she decided to incorporate the animals in her work.
With help from Blackpool Council’s Get Started scheme, Mary set up her business which sells pet food, toys and equipment straight to the door. The company, which operates from a mobile van and via its website, provides locally made pet food which, Mary said, can help improve the behaviour of problem pets.
With the business up and running, Mary now goes out to events selling in her mobile van, using her pet duck Freddie to entice customers, and is looking to make her business a big enough success to buy a field for her pet pig.
Mary, who was a carer for 11 years, said: “I was sad to see the BLESMA home close down as it was such a wonderful facility.
“After much soul searching and consider carefully what was best for the family and my menagerie of pets. I spent some time working out what range of skills I had and what I would love to do as a job.
“Thinking about all my options led to a novel idea. Keeping my pets fed, groomed and equipped was a job in itself so what if food and equipment could be bought locally and delivered direct to the door.”
Coun Mark Smith, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Enterprise and Economic Development, said: “It’s great that Mary has turned her redundancy into something really positive by setting up her own business. She has used a passion, her pets, to set up a new business and is working really hard to make the new company known. I wish her all the best of success and am glad that Get Started was able to help her through business planning and advice.”