ONE local lady’s room-letting business has been hit so hard by the Covid restrictions and lockdowns, that a fellow countrywoman has come to the rescue by setting up a fundraising page.

Berti Peeters, 54, who comes from Holland, arrived in York three years ago and began to live her dream in England, a country she has always had a strong connection with. But as lockdowns and restrictions were enforced, Berti, whose property is called Gaia House in Hambleton Terrace, York, found herself in an impossible position.

Berti, who uses BNB and to advertise her business has received SEISS grants. But bookings have all dried up.

Since she does not make huge profits with the business, these grants haven’t helped a lot. However, she said she “was very grateful to get them. Without that financial help I would already be out of business”.

London businesswoman Femke Markslag, who is also a member of a Facebook group for Dutch people in England, saw her plea and decided to do something about it, and raise £4,000 to help out Berti.

Femke, 37, who lives in East Sheen, Richmond, London, said: “I came across Berti’s story on a Facebook page for fellow Dutch people in the UK, and decided to try and do something to help her.

“You could just feel the heartache and the panic in the story – she was about to lose her home, her business and her dream. I just felt for her as I have a job and I’m doing well, my partner has a job, and we are expecting our first baby.”

“Whether she’s Dutch or not, we should come together and try and help in these bad times. I network a lot in my job, so thought I would give it a try and see what we could do,” added the freelance Head of Talent, who operates in HR, recruitment and talent processing.Berti was astounded with the help she has received, and said: “I have been totally overwhelmed by it all! From just a post in a FB group with no intentions at all, it started snowballing.

“I have just been interviewed by a big Dutch paper as well. Hopefully, this is not only going to help me but also others. “Any money over the £4,000 target will be used to form a fund for people in a similar position. I am well aware I am not the only one in this situation. There are many.”

To make a donation, or read Berti’s full story, go to: