PERENNIAL CELEBRATES 175 YEARS WITH ROYAL APPROVAL
The Roof Gardens, Kensington host anniversary celebrations attended by Perennial's Patron HRH Princess Alexandra
Tweet: UK hort industry charity @PerennialGRBS celebrates 175 yrs @TheRoofGardens with Alan Titchmarsh & HRH Princess Alexandra #perennial175
The UK's only charity dedicated to helping horticulturists in times of crisis celebrates its 175th anniversary this week at a party for supporters, horticulture industry representatives and people helped by Perennial. Perennial's Patron HRH Princess Alexandra and President Alan Titchmarsh will attend the event on Friday 17 January, (the date the organisation was founded 175 years ago) which is being generously hosted by The Roof Gardens, Kensington.
Perennial's President, Alan Titchmarsh, will call on the horticulture industry to stand together during 2014 in support of the only UK charity exclusively supporting people who work in horticulture and their families.
Speaking ahead of the event, Alan Titchmarsh says:
"My chosen career and love of gardens and gardening have given me more opportunity than most to appreciate the dedication, determination and sheer hardiness of those who work in horticulture. From grounds staff who meticulously prepare turf round the clock for both amateur and professional sportsmen and women to perform at their best to parks maintenance staff who lovingly tend borders and lawns for the enjoyment of all; gardeners, landscapers, designers, nurserymen and women all share a passion for plants and an understanding of the importance of our green spaces. The work of Perennial, a charity that exists exclusively to support and assist all those working in or retired from horticulture, is needed today more than ever. Horticulture is a profession not for those who covet wealth, but for those who know watching a seed grow and thrive has importance beyond the personal pleasure it provides. Simply, it is something on which we all depend."
To mark its 175th year and to galvanise its place in the minds of all those working in horticulture, Perennial is looking for support from all corners of the industry, as well as from the garden-loving public, to raise an additional £175,000 in 2014. The extra funds will help to safeguard its services for those struggling with disability, debt or illness. Anyone can pledge to raise money for Perennial in 2014, so if you've made a New Year's resolution, and would like an incentive to keep it, why not aim to raise at least £175? This could buy bunk beds for children currently sleeping on the floor, or pay for an occupational therapist to assess a client's needs.
Richard Capewell, Chief Executive of Perennial, said:
"The work of Perennial - which is often described by those we help simply as a 'lifeline' - is needed now more than it ever was. The economic pressures on low-paid horticulturists too often result in debilitating stress. A high rate of injury, and subsequent long-term leave of absences, means that many workers in our industry struggle to make ends meet. We'd like to be able to help even more people this year and are looking for industry support to make our 175th birthday a really special one."
Horticulture trade support for Perennial is certainly growing and the launch of HortAid in 2013 has helped to bring the charity to a wider audience. In 2013 a group of landscapers and nurserymen climbed the UK's three highest peaks, cycling between them, raising over £23,500 and a group of volunteers in Cornwall flew the UK's highest and longest zipwire raising over £3,000.
But raising £175 doesn't need to take you to extremes - why not have a cake sale, donate your pub quiz winnings, hold an auction of promises or take the opportunity to be sponsored to do something you've always fancied having a go at? Perennial can support you in your fundraising efforts so if you would like to get involved and can spare time this year to galvanise colleagues and friends to support Perennial, visit www.perennial.org.uk or contact the team on 01372 373962.
For more information visit www.perennial.org.uk
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Tanya, a full time gardener on a large estate, describes Perennial's support as 'life-saving':
"My husband left me on the day our baby was born and I struggled to cope, both financially and emotionally. I needed to return to work quickly but worried about the cost of childcare and how to balance the needs of my baby with those of my employer. Perennial was amazing, a real life-saver. I was assigned a caseworker who looked at everything and Perennial awarded me a grant to pay for childcare one day a week. My caseworker helped me approach my employer for flexible working arrangements and I'm now happily working part time and have been able to keep the accommodation that is provided on site. I just couldn't have got through that time without Perennial's help."