0 Dig Deep for your industry!

Perennial, UK horticulture's trade charity, is launching HortAid 2013, its major new fundraising campaign in order to help horticulturists and their families in times of need.

The charity is calling on horticulture businesses, gardeners and everyone who works in the UK's green spaces to take part by organising their own fundraising activities.

The first national HortAid fundraising week runs from 21 - 29 September 2013 and Perennial hopes it will give the industry a focus to get more involved with the only charity dedicated to helping people in the trade.

Jo Ayley, Head of Fundraising at Perennial, comments: "Horticulture can be a tough industry to work in and Perennial is the charity that steps in to help when people working in horticulture and their families face challenges such as sickness, disability, poverty, financial hardship and old age.

We are launching HortAid 2013 to encourage us all to look after and support those who work in our industry and we want as many people as possible to get involved. We hope HortAid will become an important and fun annual fixture in the horticulture trade calendar."

People are being encouraged to undertake their own fundraising activities and a growing number of participants have already signed up.

As a precursor to HortAid 2013, a team of landscapers and nurserymen have pledged to tackle the 3 Peaks Extreme Challenge.

The team will climb the three highest peaks in the UK (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon) and cycle the distance in between, covering 445 miles over six days.

Jo Ayley comments: "We are delighted that these intrepid horticulturists have come up with this great idea to support Perennial and it is exactly the sort of event we hope to encourage the industry to dream up as part of the HortAid 2013 campaign."

A team of Perennial volunteers from Cornwall have organized the high-flying Zipwire Challenge over the Eden Project and are inviting entrants via www.hortaid.org.uk. Lowaters Nursery Group will be running a fast and furious football tournament and other confirmed activities include a silent auction and a roses and raspberries garden party.

HortAid was originally conceived when The Landscape Juice Network founder, Phil Voice undertook 'Mowerthon' in October 2012, riding 1,250 miles on a lawnmower from Bergerac in France to John O'Groats and raising over £6,000 for Perennial.

For inspirational ideas to kick off your own fundraising activity, Perennial has put together an online fundraising kit containing posters, tips and a number of easy print-off activity sheets such as a gnome sweepstake, make your own HortAid 2013 money box, how to hold the perfect garden tea party and a bumper A-Z of fundraising ideas.

While the kit is full of quick and easy ideas, people are also encouraged to dream up challenges of their own, however big or small.

… Jo Ayley continues: "We want to thank everyone who has got involved so far for their support and we hope that many more of you will be inspired to help a charity that should be close to the heart's of everyone in this industry. So dig deep for horticulture and have fun raising lots of money for Perennial!"

Download the fundraising kit at www.hortaid.org.uk

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