ENTREPRENEUR Jim Butler-Moore overcame a stroke and heart surgery to set up his own business and he has now helped to launch a campaign to celebrate ‘van heroes’ across the south.
Landscape gardener Jim is backing an initiative to encourage entrepreneurialism after serious health concerns gave him the motivation to become his own boss.
The 38-year-old, from Hedge End, set up his own gardening business Butler-Moore Gardens in 2015, after a stroke and heart surgery led to a complete lifestyle and career overhaul.
Jim said leaving his sales manager role in London was the best decision he’s ever made and believes more people in the south east should be less fearful of going it alone in business.
Jim, who is a customer of van leasing company Vanarama, which is running the campaign, said: ‘I was working for a global company which meant my days were excessively long and I was missing seeing my children grow up.
‘I was at work one day and I felt a seething pain in my arm and realised that something was wrong. It turned out that I was having a stroke and later investigation revealed that I needed heart surgery.
Thankfully I recovered from the surgery, but the experience really made me consider my priorities.Jim Butler-Moore
‘Thankfully I recovered from the surgery, but the experience really made me consider my priorities. I quit my job and started my own landscape gardening business. I’m now healthier than ever and I get to have breakfast and dinner with my family everyday, I couldn’t be happier.’ Today, Jim is launching the Vanarama Van Hero campaign to celebrate independent van driving business owners across the region by encouraging people to vote for their ‘van hero’ in the south east.
The champion will be revealed in a national final in October, winning a prize worth £5,000.
Andy Alderson, MD and founder of Vanarama said: ‘We want to encourage people to vote for trades people in their communities because they are the backbone of this nation.
‘Far too often van drivers receive negative publicity for the wrong reasons but really, the majority of UK van drivers are people like Jim, running their own businesses and following their dreams.
‘We have created these awards to celebrate entrepreneurialism in Britain and will reward the overall winner with a complimentary three-year van lease or £5,000 prize.’
Jim said: ‘I wish I’d set up my own business years ago, I love the independence and I’m excited for the future.
‘I’m delighted to support Vanarama with this competition.’
The Van Hero competition is open to van driving business owners from all sectors, with entries to be submitted at Vanarama.co.uk/VanHeroes