Gareth and Zoe Lloyd were hoping to make a fresh start in Australia. When their son Riley was born a move looked impossible, so where are they now?
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Having survived challenging times,
Gareth and Zoe Lloyd were hoping to make a fresh start in Australia.
We've been through, you know, quite a lot at such a young age.
But when their second son was born, it looked like an impossible move.
Riley was born with a condition called albinism.
Five years on, the dream was back.
But when the trial week saw mixed emotions...
-Wow, look at that.
It's like it's all been snatched away, hasn't it?
Did they decide there was no place like home?
It's a bigger decision than what I thought.
But where are the Lloyd family now?
In the UK or Australia?
Famed for its pristine beaches and fabulous lifestyle,
Australia welcomes a new immigrant around every two minutes.
Add a thriving economy with plentiful work opportunities,
and it's easy to see why for over 25 years,
the country has been the top choice for British families
seeking a happy and prosperous future.
Following a life filled with traumatic experiences,
the Lloyd family was hoping Australia could give them
the fresh start they were looking for.
And so, back in 2014,
we sent them for a trial week down under
before they made the biggest decision of their lives.
Whether to stay in the UK
or move to the other side of the world for good.
The family's journey kicked off with a 26.5-hour trek
flying from Manchester to Adelaide.
Eldest son Connor was relieved when they eventually touched down.
Really tired after the flight.
I must've only had about four hours' sleep, but it was all right.
And though it was his first time flying, Riley took it in his stride.
The flight was good.
So after years dreaming about Oz,
how did Gareth and Zoe feel having made it down under?
Feels brilliant to be honest.
Sun's shining, I'm really looking forward to see what's to come.
Now I'm here, so I'm really excited to see
what Australia has got to offer.
As the family set off into Adelaide, they knew their entire future
was riding on what happened over the next week.
Meet the Lloyds who are from Ashton-in-Makerfield.
They were Gareth, Zoe, then 14-year-old Connor,
Riley, who was five, and Mason, who was a baby at the time.
Gareth and Zoe met when they were 15 and 16 years old
at a holiday camp in Gareth's hometown in North Wales.
If I recall, it was Zoe who came over to me and asked for the time.
No, Gareth asked me for the time.
Yeah, we'll agree to disagree on that.
It was love at first sight
and Zoe fell pregnant just a few months later.
Zoe was 16...
I mean, it wasn't planned. We were still kids ourselves.
Going into labour ten weeks prematurely,
Zoe dramatically gave birth in the back of Gareth's mum's car.
Connor decided it was time he was going to join us
in the back of the car.
Mostly shocked myself, and out he popped,
and luckily I managed to catch him.
You know, people argue I delivered him,
I'd say more of a, you know, certainly more of a catch.
It was an experience Zoe would never forget.
Connor was the size of Gareth's hand.
I didn't think he was alive, because he didn't cry,
because he was so tiny.
And I was really scared and panicky.
Connor spent two months in intensive care,
but just after getting him home,
the young couple were dealt another blow.
They were in a fatal car crash with one of Gareth's friends.
Tragically, the driver lost his life
and my other friend was seriously injured as well.
As well as Zoe, who sustained
serious injuries to her neck and her back.
X-rays revealed an unstable fracture in her spine
and Zoe was rushed to a specialist hospital,
robbing her of bonding time with baby Connor.
I was in hospital knowing that I wouldn't be out of there
for a couple of months. I was on me own.
I'm going to start crying now.
Gareth's parents helped care for Connor
while he split his time between studies
to be a heating engineer and the hospital.
Finally, after learning to walk again, Zoe was allowed home.
I had to wear a full body brace
and an Aspen collar for six months after I come out.
The couple had experienced more trauma in a year
than most go through in a lifetime.
But after returning to Zoe's hometown in England,
life settled down until Gareth
introduced his dream of moving down under.
It's something that's been on my mind ever since I qualified.
From what I've researched, and understood, you know,
it's a better life, better weather.
You know, potentially better opportunities out there.
After everything they'd been through,
moving to the other side of the world was too much for Zoe.
About ten years ago, we mentioned it
and I just dismissed it straightaway.
He'd never been out there, I'd never been there,
so I wasn't really interested.
Gareth finally persuaded Zoe to make the move and whilst preparing to
apply for a visa in 2007, Zoe fell pregnant again.
When their second son was born though,
their hopes to move down under were dashed.
Riley was born with a condition called albinism.
Which basically means no pigments in the skin, in the eyes,
in the hair and very, very sensitive to sunlight.
So moving to one of the hottest countries on earth seemed a no-go.
But online research about his condition
and the Australian attitude to staying safe in the sun
led the couple to believe it might not be as crazy as it sounded.
We understand a lot about his condition now
and what precautions are necessary
to protect him from the warm weather.
-Keep going straight.
-Having discussed the move with him,
Riley was more interested in the wildlife than the weather.
I want to see the lovely spiders.
And Connor saw the move as a way to fulfil his dream too.
I've always wanted to go to Australia
to work in a zoo over there.
Australia could have been the fresh start the Lloyds needed.
But Zoe worried about leaving her family behind.
I'm quite close to my mum and I know that the children
are really close to her.
Taking them away from her would be hard.
Having dreamt of the move for over ten years,
Gareth was determined to give his family a happier future.
There's been that many events that happened in our lives since we met,
it's just a fresh start.
After a decade of discussion,
the family were about to discover if moving to a country
they'd never visited could give them a new beginning.
I want to settle down now, I want to, you know, be wherever we are.
And hopefully spend the rest of our lives there together,
whether that's in Australia or the UK.
We need to come to that decision now.
To find out if Australia could give the Lloyds their dream life,
the family visited Adelaide,
ranked at the time as one of the world's top ten cities to live in.
Their temporary base for the week was Clovelly Park in the suburbs.
Tired from the long journey,
first impressions of the house left Gareth confused.
-Do you like it?
-Two garages, hey?
-No, that's a different house.
-It's just that.
-Oh, is it two separate houses?
-Hopefully, one house was big enough.
-It looks small.
-It does look small, doesn't it?
Or maybe not.
But how did the inside rate?
-You like it?
-Wow, it is, isn't it?
Fortunately, the TARDIS-like interior won the Lloyds' approval.
It's deceiving from the outside, isn't it?
-It is deceiving.
-It's a lot bigger than it looks, isn't it? Open plan.
Wow, wasn't expecting that.
And the enthusiasm continued outside.
Imagine yourself sat out here and we're watching the kids play.
Barbecue on there. Reckon you'd fit a small pool in that corner?
I don't think so.
Whilst everyone felt instantly at home, Zoe was worried.
It's really hot and with Riley, that is a big concern.
Even though we expected it to be hot,
maybe we didn't expect it to be this hot.
The week ahead would see how Riley coped with the Australian climate.
And Gareth knew his dream was at stake
if the country didn't meet expectations.
Australia needs to show me a good quality of work life
and also how the children fit in with the life and the weather.
This week needs to be the decider.
It's either - "Yes, we're going to go"
or we go home and you know, that's it.
This has got to be it now.
Back in the UK in 2014,
Gareth and Zoe rented a three bedroom detached house
Their wish list for an Australian
house was nothing less than comprehensive.
My dream property would be a four-bedroom detached with a pool,
a cinema room, and all open-plan,
within walking distance to a beach.
-Hopefully get a garage as well.
-Oh, yeah, a garage for the car.
Quite a list indeed.
With their budget of £1,200 a month to rent a home down under,
we showed them three properties, two on budget,
and a third which could be their dream home.
Only after they had seen each one did they find out the monthly rent.
House-hunting began in Flinders Park,
a well-established suburb west of the city centre.
But was the house what they were looking for?
-Wow. Look at that.
-Oh, my gosh.
Did the inside evoke a similar reaction?
-Nice and bright, isn't it?
-This is nice.
Riley was impressed and the spacious kitchen and living area
scored more points.
What a great room.
I'm really impressed with the style so far.
Yeah, I am as well, actually. I do really like it.
But, unfortunately, the garden didn't blow them away.
It is a little small out here, but it's cosy.
I would like a little bit bigger garden.
However, the house did have the four bedrooms Zoe wanted
which kept Connor happy too.
I think I need a plasma on the wall, 50-inch at least.
With an expansive bathroom and living quarters to spare,
they were unsure what to do with all the space.
It's not a bedroom, is it?
Maybe a playroom. Yeah, like a second dining room.
Despite having a small garden,
the house offered what the family wanted.
But with £1,200 to spend every month, was it within budget?
-Not too sure.
-Maybe about £1,100 a month.
I think about £1,000 a month.
-It's bang on budget, isn't it?
If this is on budget, what are the other houses going to be like?
I thought it was going to be less than that, to be honest, but...
It was achievable but not perfect. The family weren't sold yet.
The search continued in a suburb
affectionately referred to as Little Britain.
Close to schools and the beach,
Hallett Cove was popular with British expats,
but did the house have the outside space Zoe dreamt of?
-Looks absolutely massive.
-It does, doesn't it?
Whilst baby Mason was with a childminder,
the rest of the family were awestruck.
Brilliant, isn't it?
This is amazing, isn't it?
-This is my dream house.
And the main bedroom pleased Gareth.
-Really taken aback by this, me. You?
-I love it.
I've only seen two rooms.
I know. And the balcony came with quite a view.
-Look at that.
-This would make me move.
That and the open-plan kitchen, maybe.
-That... That's nice.
I like it. In fact, I love this. I love this house.
But Gareth had concerns.
I'm being realistic,
-cos I think this is going to be way beyond our budget.
But, yeah, what a gorgeous, gorgeous house.
And the best was yet to come.
Look at this pool.
Just imagine jumping in that and having a nice morning swim.
This is like a millionaire's house.
But with £1,200 to spend on rent every month, was it affordable?
I think this is quite a bit above our budget and if I was to guess,
I would say around £1,500 a month.
See, I think it's more. 2,000.
I think it's probably about 2,500 a month, maybe more.
Go on, then, Connor. Let's have look.
That is a shock, isn't it?
Right, we're moving!
-The reaction spoke for itself and staying in Hallett Cove,
we found what should have been the family's ultimate home.
A 2-storey property promising
luxury living within walking distance of the beach.
Oh, look at this.
Whoa! No way!
That is, like, a palace.
It certainly stood on high.
-Wow. Look at that.
-With five bedrooms,
there was a room for everyone and one for guests.
And the spacious interiors were cause for more delight.
Certainly see myself relaxing here.
I can't get over how big they are.
-Huge, huge property, isn't it?
Yeah. Like the previous one, this house had plenty of outside space,
not to mention a pool with a Jacuzzi.
-Do you like this one, then, Riley?
-Yeah, it's well better.
-Is this better than the second?
-And just when they thought things couldn't get any better,
a second-floor room surpassed expectations.
-Now, that's impressive. Cinema room.
Why would you want to watch the cinema, though,
when you've got a view like that out the window?
But Connor was more enamoured with the technology.
Don't need a 50-inch plasma any more.
And the adjoining balcony was also worth a look.
This is a dream property, this.
Yeah. It's like a millionaire's, celebrity's property.
Not one that we could afford.
It could have been the perfect base for a new beginning,
but with a budget of £1,200 per month,
was it really just for the rich and famous?
I was way out last time, so I'd probably go with about 2,100.
What do you think, Connor? How much?
I think it's probably what I said on the last property,
about 2,500 at least.
I'd estimate around £1,900.
-It's a lot less than I thought.
It's a bit over budget, but...
-I don't think it's that far.
-It's within reach.
The Lloyds' property search proved positive.
House number one was big inside, yet small outside.
Though the family were relieved to discover it was on budget.
Property two had plenty of space and a pool
and discovering it was affordable was a bonus.
But house number three took everyone's breath away,
with a cinema room and just a short stroll from the beach,
it was definitely something to aspire to.
So, how did they vote when choosing
between a home in Australia or the UK?
Based on the properties we've seen today, our vote goes to...
Yeah, I don't think you'd get anything like the price in the UK.
This type of house with four bedrooms, pool.
No, I think it went beyond our expectations today.
Really impressed with what we've seen.
With the Lloyds' hearts set on luxury living by the beach,
were they able to find the jobs to afford it?
In the UK, Gareth was a gas technical engineer,
servicing heating systems and boilers.
I've been in the industry since a school leaver
and I thoroughly enjoy what I do.
Zoe was a part-time assistant in a pharmacy.
She was keen to return to her previous career.
I would be looking into going back into care work
which is what I've done for ten years,
working with adults with learning and physical disabilities.
Gareth wanted to stay in a similar role,
but with a greater emphasis on home life.
I'm hoping for the hours to not be as demanding,
the work-life balance will be a lot better,
ultimately resulting in me having more family time.
Whilst the children were cared for by a childminder,
Gareth and Zoe investigated work prospects in Adelaide.
Gareth met Brendan Purdon,
an expat now running his own gas services company.
He was quick to point out that a move to Australia
could mean a learning curve.
As regards to finding your feet out here and getting work,
-how difficult was that?
It was OK. There is work out here.
The qualifications would be the issue,
getting them sorted out first of all.
This would have required around 18 months on-the-job training before he
could work as a fully qualified gas technician.
It was a setback for the dream.
And for Zoe, she was meeting Lisa,
a care worker at a residential centre
for people with intellectual disabilities.
-Hello, I'm Lisa. I'll show you around.
After a quick cuppa with some residents,
Lisa and Zoe discuss the likelihood of her securing work.
Are my qualifications transferable?
When you come to Australia,
you can have your qualification recognised by a skills recognition
service and then that gives you a certificate you can bring
to an employer to show them that
you're qualified to work in Australia.
Fortunately, the transition for Zoe was easier.
Is there currently any job vacancies?
There is at such a large organisation,
there's often a lot of prospects available.
So someone with your qualifications would be a good candidate.
That's good to hear.
That sounded encouraging.
Gareth was also keen to address how
the work would fit in with his hopes for more family time.
As regards to working hours, how does that fare up with the UK?
My typical working day in the summer would be 8:00, 8:30 start.
-Invariably you would be finished by 15:00 or 16:00.
And I start at sort of 7:30, 8:00 in the winter
and quite often you're not in before six.
Whilst summer hours were short,
the winter would still mean long days.
But what about the money?
Until they sort out your qualifications,
they might put you on...
it's called an adult apprentice.
I think the award wage for that is about 36,000.
-And then once you're qualified
to work for somebody else, that goes up to 48.
That was about £20,000, much less than Gareth expected.
But Brendan pointed out that the self-employed route
would have given him a greater income.
If you're self-employed and doing 50, 60 hours a week,
I wouldn't be surprised if you would
be hitting 100,000 to 120,000 a year.
Eventually earning £65,000 wasn't bad at all.
But he would have still needed to work around-the-clock.
Back at the residential centre,
Zoe checked out if she could work part-time.
So we have casual part-time and full-time employment.
-Again, it was good news for Zoe.
All that remained was to talk about the money.
A part-time employee on 20 hours a week would get 23,000 a year.
Wow, that's a lot more.
It was almost double what Zoe currently got.
Long-term prospects for them both looked reasonable,
but it would take time for Gareth to reach his full earning potential.
With three children to care for,
did they decide it was safer to stick with work in the UK?
Based upon the employment opportunities we've seen today
we're going to vote...
I was a bit sceptical, but the earning potential,
after jumping some hurdles, is a lot higher than I anticipated.
-And there was plenty of work.
-I really enjoyed today.
They all seem really, really friendly.
With a full sweep of votes for Australia so far,
it was time to give the Lloyds a taste of the Aussie lifestyle.
We sent them to visit Monarto Zoo,
where Riley was delighted to meet Maureen, a friendly rock wallaby.
You think we should take her home?
-I think we should.
They also got up close and personal with a black rhinoceros.
You've been pretty lucky because he hasn't sprayed you all.
Sometimes he backs around.
What's he spray us with?
Have a guess. He sprays you with wee-wee.
Charming! Time to move along.
Given Connor's dream of working in a zoo,
feeding the animals proved a hit.
You couldn't ever do this in the UK.
My friends would be definitely jealous of me feeding the giraffes.
Gareth was delighted with how the week was going.
I'm just really taken aback with the country.
You know, the people, the lifestyle, the weather, everything, you know,
it's what I dreamt it would be, and more.
The day also showed how well Riley was dealing with the climate.
You know, he's been fine.
He's coped really well with the light, the daylight.
That was one of my fears.
But despite the positives,
the distance from home was playing on Zoe's mind.
I keep changing my mind about, you know,
I want to come and then I don't,
and then I sort of think of family back home.
Gareth knew his wife had reservations,
but had their day outdone enough to convince everyone of the merits
of Australia's lifestyle?
Based upon the lifestyle activities we have undergone today our
vote goes to...
The experience with the giraffes was just mesmerising.
I was really impressed with that, really enjoyed myself today.
What's your best bit about today?
The best bit is the wallaby jumping around.
I'm made up everyone's voted Australia. I'm not surprised.
We have had a really good time today.
Four more votes for Australia
made the fresh start the family wanted down under
much more likely, but could they afford it?
While the children played outside,
the couple sat down to compare living expenses
between Australia and the UK.
To help, we gave them a cost-of-living comparison.
First up was the weekly food shop.
Yoghurt, nearly £5 dearer.
Baby jars, £6.50 dearer.
-Food was generally more expensive down under,
but their calculated weekly overspend
of under £18 was manageable.
However, once the bigger bills like rent in Australia were factored in,
the difference could not be ignored.
So we are £682.54 per month...
It wasn't good news.
However, once they considered their joint salaries in Australia,
were they able to pick up the shortfall in the final reckoning?
Worse off per month.
It was a disastrous result,
as the couple realised the move would see them out-of-pocket
by an eye-watering £18,378 a year.
There's no way of even moving anything on it,
because I wouldn't work full-time.
I wouldn't come out here to work full-time.
I'm really gutted about these figures, me.
It's like it's all been snatched away, hasn't it?
I'm quite upset, actually. I didn't think I would be.
It was a devastating end to the day.
That led to an inevitable result when it came to the vote.
-Has to, really.
Couldn't vote anything else, really, with them figures.
No. Major blow in the potential move.
-Yeah, you can't argue with figures, I suppose.
The cold reality of a possible financial nightmare
were they to move to Australia
brought Gareth and Zoe crashing back to earth.
But there was another cost involved
that could have far outweighed any financial deficit.
Moving away from friends and family.
The Lloyds decided to watch the messages from loved ones together.
Hi, guys, hope everything's going well.
Hi, Zoe, hi, Gareth, hope you've had a good time.
Hope the kids have enjoyed it.
Hi, Zoe, hi, Gareth, hi, boys,
I hope you're having a lovely time in Australia.
They've been through thick and thin
together, they're stronger than stone, them two.
Zoe's a wonderful mother to the kids.
Them boys couldn't ask for a better mother, and I think Gaz, to be fair,
-couldn't ask for a better wife.
-Connor's a good lad.
Me and Gaz took him to his first football match.
Oh, Riley's a lovely sweet little boy, I love him to pieces.
He's my godson, Riley.
Little Mason, he's a lovely little boy.
He's getting bigger every day.
Gareth has always said, you know, he'd like to move to Australia,
just for the lifestyle, for his kids.
It's going to be hard,
cos my brother's always sort of been my idol, like.
You could say hero, I suppose, if you want,
but I definitely wouldn't say that to his face.
I've known Zoe all my life, and if she moved to Australia,
I would be very upset,
because I would never see her again.
We are such a close knit family...
..but I understand why they want to do it.
It's entirely up to you now.
Think about it properly and we're all behind you.
I hope you've checked all the things out that you wanted to
and the decision is made for the right reason.
-You all right?
-No. That was really hard.
I don't know if she would be able to come over.
It's quite a big distance, isn't it, from back home?
Yes. And you only actually realise when you see something like that.
-I'd miss everyone.
Hearing from loved ones was a challenging moment for the Lloyds.
But weighed against the lifestyle
and opportunities Australia promised,
were they able to overcome this emotional obstacle?
I've just grown even fonder of the country by the day,
to be honest with you.
I didn't think I'd enjoy it as much as I have done.
If we ended up staying in the UK, I would be gutted,
because we've come out here and I've really liked it myself.
I like it when it's very, very hot.
But for Gareth, the week revealed some unwelcome facts too.
The reality of work isn't as straightforward.
Although there is potential to earn more money out here,
there's a lot of hurdles on the way.
And messages from home left Zoe contemplating the huge distance
from loved ones, especially her cousin Mel.
I think I would be all right, apart from Mel.
And obviously my mum.
Yeah, but I knew my mum could come and visit. Sorry.
Yet at the same time, Zoe did see what Australia had to offer.
We've been through, you know, quite a lot at such a young age,
but I think the move to Australia
is sort of like a new life, a fresh start.
With their family's future happiness at stake,
their upcoming decision had Gareth and Zoe torn.
My family's happiness is paramount.
And, yeah, I'm unsure whether
it is going to be as easy as I first thought.
You've got a lot to consider and it's a bigger decision
than what I thought originally, yeah.
Gareth and Zoe had conquered challenge after challenge
to reach where they were,
but they face what could have been their biggest one yet,
deciding whether Australia really
could give them the new beginning they deserved.
We've really enjoyed our time this week in Australia
and after everything we've seen and experienced, our vote goes to...
I've had an amazing week, and really enjoyed it,
but I think the finances worried me a little bit.
I understand that, I'm looking at the bigger picture
although there may be a few hurdles to overcome,
I believe in the long run that the salary is there to be earnt.
It's just a matter of time.
It is an amazing country.
Or we could just leave you in the UK and we'd move.
-That's not very nice, is it, Dad?
It was an extraordinary week for the Lloyds.
Australia delivered everything they hoped it would and more.
But at what potential cost?
Zoe's undecided vote reflected this uncertainty at the time,
but she was also open to further persuasion.
So three years later since we last saw the Lloyds,
will we find them living at home or away?
It's 2017 and the Lloyds are living in...
Ashton-in-Makerfield, but not indefinitely.
Plans are in place after their positive experience
of the trail week to make the final move down under.
Australia was better than what I anticipated.
I don't really know what I expected,
but I just fell in love with the country.
It reached all my expectations and more,
it was everything I'd hoped it would be.
The weather here it's, sometimes it can be nice,
but it just changes all the time
like it will just rain,
but over there it's just constantly sun and nice weather.
I thought it was good, I really liked it,
because it was like a whole country just for people like me,
because it had like shades all over the park.
The people out there were friendly,
-I really enjoyed it, and I didn't want to come home.
But when it came to the vote,
Zoe was the only one who didn't choose Australia.
If the finances that we worked out was different
and Gareth's wage was higher to start off with
then it would have definitely been an Australia 100%.
And I didn't want to vote the UK,
because we want to go to Australia,
so that's why it was an undecided vote.
But I did get shouted at off the children afterwards.
For not voting Australia.
At the end of the trial week,
the Lloyds stayed on to experience a bit more of the Aussie life.
And with Zoe still undecided,
they chose to use this time for a further fact-finding mission.
We booked those hours into a hotel that was pre-planned in the town
centre, just so we could go and do our own research.
We went to a skills information centre
and we went to a government visa information centre
to find out what sort of visa and things we would need.
So obviously we'd just done a bit of
digging on to what the next step should be.
However, it wasn't so much the research that helped Zoe
to make up her mind,
but rather a chance meeting on the plane journey home.
We sat next to a lady on the plane on the way back, didn't we?
-Travelling from Perth.
-With her little boy.
She was travelling from Perth and it was her first visit home,
they'd emigrated three years before.
-That's right, yeah.
And she actually didn't really want to go home, did she?
She wasn't looking forward to it,
because she just loved it out in Australia, didn't she?
And had told us and explained to Zoe how their lifestyle change
had worked for her, yet it was difficult leaving family,
but the lifestyle and the work-life balance they have now
with the children and the family
is a lot better than what they had in the UK.
I think we'd made our minds up by then
that we were definitely going to Australia.
Chance may have provided Zoe with the reassurance she needed
to make the move down under.
And no sooner had they touched down in the UK
than they started the process of preparing to leave.
We looked at agencies, didn't we, to help us get the visa?
We'd actually got in touch and instructed an agency, hadn't we...
to start the visa process?
They told us that we wouldn't have any problems getting a visa
with Gareth's skills and qualifications.
Before they invested any money into the visa process though,
they were advised to research any possible difficulties
that may arise from Riley's medical condition.
My understanding of it is the immigration look at it to see
if his condition is not degenerative
and he's then going to be susceptible to state benefit.
So in order to assess this, Riley needed a medical examination
like the rest of the family,
but also a number of further investigative measures.
But there was a problem.
When we looked further into it, it became apparent
that they only do all of our medicals right at the last stage
after you've paid all the money for all the other checks,
employment skills, you know, the normal checks that they need to do.
However, because Riley has albinism,
they were worried that he may not pass the medical.
So even though we know in the UK his condition won't get any worse,
it's obviously having that document and immigration accepting that
and obviously that was the stage
that we were at where we're trying to get that approved.
And because the medicals were not until the end of the process,
money had to be spent which may have been lost
had Riley's visa been turned down.
It was several thousand pounds to secure a visa for Zoe and myself
and the other two boys, but when it came to Riley
we could've stepped into tens of thousands of pounds
and still not secured the visa
and that's what started the next process.
With a limited nest egg, Zoe and Gareth were looking at a gamble.
One which they could either all get visas and begin the move down under
or fail the visa process
and in doing so lose every penny they had saved.
It was a stark choice.
Any money that we would have already forked out for his skills check,
employment, police checks we would have then lost, you know,
there was no way we could get that money back,
so, you know, we couldn't really look into doing that at the time.
In the end, they chose not to risk losing their savings, however,
they were given some helpful advice about Riley.
It was quite difficult to prove
that when he was an adult he would be employable,
so we were advised that as he got older, obviously,
high school age, he would be doing exams, you can see his grades,
what he'd be getting and that he would actually.
Because people with albinism, all adults go into university
and go into employment,
there's no reason why he shouldn't be able to work.
So the dream whilst currently postponed
until Riley goes through secondary school, is still on.
And there is a silver lining to the cloud that has changed
all their lives for the better.
The money we had in savings that initially we were going to use
to make the move out to Australia...
after we've discovered that the visa process
is going to be slightly more complicated
than we initially anticipated,
we decided to buy a property in the UK.
Due to us being in rented accommodation at the time,
we felt that we needed to secure ourselves financially.
I love the fact that it's our own,
we've already done quite a bit of renovation work, haven't we?
Yeah, we've done a few bits of improvements to the house
to put our own stamp on it.
And the house is not the only addition for the Lloyd family.
This is Diesel.
When I first, like, met him, like, when I came home from school,
Mason came home from nursery and he was in his cage.
He was just sat there because he didn't know who I was.
But then we've grown up, he's been good,
except like when other kids are here he starts jumping up sometimes.
But none of this has given way to the dream of living down under.
When we bought a house back here in England,
I think some friends and family thought that that was it,
in regards to the move to Australia,
they thought we were staying put, but absolutely not.
I did that purely just for security in the UK.
But my brother, close friends, they know still I have every intention
of trying to get out to Australia in the future.
And Zoe is completely on board. She even has a plan.
Five years' time, Riley will be in high school,
we will have a better understanding of his exams, etc.
And in five years' time, I could sort of see us in Australia.
-It's just a waiting game.
-The dream is still there.
-It's still there.
And both Zoe and Gareth have changed their jobs
with an eye to securing employment down under.
I still work in the gas industry,
but it's more of an emergency reactive role now,
maintaining the gas network in the UK.
The move I made I felt would benefit
me more in Australia work-wise.
The research I'd done, the cost of electricity
was consistently increasing itself in Australia
and therefore people were promoting natural gas
and there was a lot of excavations and there is a network out there
that carries out a similar role to what I do in the UK currently.
Zoe took voluntary redundancy from the pharmacy
and is about to return as a care worker.
I'm excited to go back into the care work sector,
because I did love doing the care work.
So when we went on the trial week in Australia,
I did go to homes there that were for adults with additional needs
and meet a few people there.
And if we went to Australia, that's the sort of line of work
that I would still want to go into over there.
But it's not only Gareth and Zoe
whose work is helping them prepare for the move to oz.
17-year-old Connor has a cunning plan
and he may just get there before them.
Since we came back from Australia,
I got a plastering apprenticeship,
I've been there for about seven months now,
I'm enjoying it, I do like the job.
My boss has applied for a visa to go over there,
he's just going through the final stages of it now.
And hopefully in the future I'd go over on a work visa with him..
And I think if he made the move,
then that would push us that bit more to get over there ourselves,
but he's certainly keen about getting out there.
But of course there are still emotional attachments at home
with both family and friends.
Lately, the only thing that was holding us back -
the reason I didn't want to or haven't wanted to emigrate
was just family, purely family and friends,
cos we're quite a close family.
And I think the thought of not just being able to go round
you know, to me mum's or me brothers' or me friends'
I think worried me quite a bit.
But Zoe is nothing if not practical, so she dealt with the issue head-on.
We went and spoke to family and, you know, we told family
that we were going and me mum and dad were behind us 100%.
They were really supportive
and, you know, as long as it was what we wanted to do,
they were happy for us.
-Kind of a light at the end of the tunnel.
So in the future, after the plan has been put into play -
where do the Lloyds see themselves living?
I certainly see a life for Zoe and myself and the children
in Adelaide in the future.
Fingers crossed that, you know,
when we start the visa process again
that we will be successful
and if not then will just have to go on holidays to see Connor.
I think as a family the future is - I do think it is in Australia.
The path to Australia for the family has been scattered
and strewn with untold obstacles.
But through resilience and determination,
the Lloyds have managed to navigate these barriers
and hold on to a dream that could see them all living down under
in the not-so-distant future.
Following a life filled with traumatic experiences the Lloyd family were hoping Australia could give them the fresh start they were longing for. Back in 2014 we sent them for a trial week down under before asking them to make the biggest decision of their lives - whether to stay in the UK or move to the other side of the world for good.
The Lloyd family consisted of Gareth, Zoe, then 14-year-old Conor, Riley, who was five, and Mason, a baby at the time. Gareth and Zoe met when they were teenagers at a holiday camp in Gareth's home town in north Wales. It was love at first sight, and Zoe was pregnant a few months later. The traumatic premature birth of Conor was an experience Zoe never forgot, and shortly after getting him home from hospital the couple were dealt another tragic blow when they were in a fatal car accident that left a friend dead and Zoe badly injured.
After returning to Zoe's home town in England the couple settled down - until Gareth introduced his idea of moving to Australia. He had qualified as a heating engineer and knew his skills were wanted down under. Just as he had persuaded Zoe to give it a chance she became pregnant for a second time. When their second son was born though, their hopes of emigrating were dashed - Riley had been born with albinism, a condition that meant he had no pigment in his skin and was very sensitive to sunlight. Moving to one of the hottest countries on earth seemed a no-go. But online research showed Australia had a robust attitude to staying safe in the sun. It meant the couple believed a move might not be as crazy as it sounded.
So after a decade of discussion the family were about to discover if living in a country they had never visited might have given them a new beginning. They had an extraordinary trial week in Adelaide which delivered everything they hoped for and more - but at what potential cost?
It's been three years since we last heard from the Lloyds, so where will we find them living now?