A FAMILY who scraped by on just £57 a week have revealed how they turned their lives around, after a generous gift by the millionaire couple they swapped with.
Demi and Ben Gowland-Jeffries, from County Durham, appeared on Rich House, Poor House in 2019 and admitted they were struggling.
At the time, Ben was working a zero-hour contract as a roofer while Demi was at home looking after daughter Demi, three, meaning the family were living on just 50p per meal.
They swapped lives with millionaire property developers Steve and Gemma Green, who live in a five-bed home in Redcar, North Yorkshire, and had £1,600 a week to live on after bills.
In catch-up show Rich House Poor House Changed My Life, ex-soldier Ben and wife Demi revealed how they quadrupled their income in a year thanks to their wealthy friends.
The pair turned their fortunes around after Gemma and Steve invested £30,000 in a training course for them, giving Ben the confidence to quit his roofer job.
"We kinda thought 'if they can do it, why can't we?'" Ben said on the catch-up show.
"I had the realisation that I'd been doing all of this stuff for other people and I could do it myself so I texted my boss, told him to find someone else and that I was starting my own business."
Meanwhile, Demi took on a part-time job and used the cash to fund a beauty qualification.
She can now offer beauty treatments at home, which fits in perfectly with her routine as a mum.
The couple even moved to a bigger house, which has a dedicated 'beauty room' for Demi's clients.
Ben added: "How will we ever repay them? Honestly. They were teaching us how to fish so we can feed ourselves for the rest of your lives."
He also admitted had they been given a £30,000 cash handout, the pair would have spent the money in a month – instead of investing it wisely.
Meanwhile, the wealthy Greens, who live with daughter Sadie, ten, and granddaughter Ariana, two, were delighted to have been able to help – and have kept in touch with the couple.
Gemma said: "It wasn't just a case of giving money to somebody, but it was actually being on the journey of their growth and see how far they've come right now and the wonderful things they're doing."
While Steve added: "If Ben and Demi had the right attitude I was willing to show them how to move away from that lifestyle."
After Ben proved himself to the Greens, they took things one step further by offering him a job as a sales and marketing executive in their professional training business.
Ben said: "I've quadrupled my wages now in comparison to where we were. We have spare now.
"It's a massive relief to know that the bills are paid every month.
"But not only are the bills paid, we have cash for the things we want to do and get the treats Lily wants."
Now the couple are looking to buy a two-bed £60,000 fixer-upper home, to get them on the property ladder.
Sadly the past year hasn't been so kind to the Greens, whose business lost £41,000 a month over the pandemic, thanks to cancelled events and builds put on hold.
In addition to losing £20,000 from cancelled events, Steve said: "We had to shut the doors on our sites and we're losing £21,000 a month, we were hit very, very hard.
"We could have taken the easy option and let Ben go at that point but we've held our nerves on that process ans stuck with Ben and he just great, he got stronger and stronger."
But their good deeds have not gone unappreciated. "Doing the job has put me on that track and helped me find myself again," Demi said.
"This is not just a financial opportunity that they've given us, they've completely changed our lifestyle. This has personally for me changed my life."
Ben agreed, adding: "It's not about money anymore for us, it's happiness."
Rich House Poor House Changed My Life airs on Sunday at 9pm on Channel 5.
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