Allan gets the 'sparkle' back into his life
Three years ago Allan's world turned upside down when his marriage broke down unexpectedly leaving him and his four children - aged 14, 13, five and two and a half - needing somewhere to live in a hurry.
Unemployed Allan was given a three-bedroom house by the council - a roof at least. But a roof was all the family had.
As it took at least eight weeks for child benefits to be transferred from one parent to another, the family of five was at first surviving on £55 a week.
"We only had £200 to decorate and furnish the entire house as well as buy all the household essentials needed to turn it from an empty shell into a home. That was hard going as I had to buy a washing machine, a dryer and a cooker. I don't know what we would have done without help from Starter Packs Dundee.
"The volunteers who packed the box had really thought about what my family would need. They put spaceman bedding in for my youngest son who was two and a half years old at the time and it really put a smile on his face. In fact, he kept talking about his 'sparkle' pack."
The starter pack for the Petrie family also contained bedding for the rest of the family, as well as curtains, cutlery, crockery, pans, energy saving light bulbs and toilet paper.
The kitchen equipment became invaluable for cash-strapped Allan. He said:
"I only managed to feed the children because I know how to cook, but I couldn't even have done that without the pack."
His children were obviously distressed by the family break-up but the kindness of the Starter Pack volunteers helped them through the dark days.
"The kids were really touched by things like the Barbie and Winnie the Pooh towels they included. Even the toast rack made a difference," said Allan.
"We had never really used one before and the children weren't big toast eaters, but obviously we couldn't afford for them to be picky and as soon as I put the triangles of toast in the toast rack they just couldn't get enough."
Now Allan is back on his feet and so grateful for the help he got from the Dundee Starter Packs project that he has since volunteered for several local charities. His children are also thriving - they are all settled and doing well at school, especially one of his daughters who gained 100 per cent in a recent prelim exam at school.