Hundreds of people from across the horticulture industry gathered at the Skyloft at Altitude London at the top of Millbank Tower on Friday 15th January 2016 for the Party for Perennial, the charity’s annual fundraising event. As part of the celebrations, the Perennial Champion Awards were presented to those who went above and beyond in their fundraising for Perennial during 2015.
The Perennial Champions Awards were presented by Chris Collins, former Blue Peter gardener and the face of the “Love your plot” campaign, to:
- The fabulous team that created Perennial Legacy Garden at the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park – Glendale UK as lead sponsor, GK Wilson Landscaping who built the garden and Paul Hervey Brookes who designed it.
- Nigel Bowcock who ran two marathons – London and Brighton – in the space of two weeks, raising over £3,000.
- Sodexo Horticultural Services who donated 175 trees for the Perennial Woodland Garden at Dunorlan Park in Kent. All trees are now ‘sold’ to supporters and the woodland will be officially opened in 2016. Also recognition goes to their depot colleagues for organising fundraising events.
- Hever Castle’s garden team who were an invaluable part of the team building the ‘Growing Obsession’ show garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, as well as putting on their gnome costumes again to raise money for HortAid. A Perennial Champion certificate was also awarded to Paul Cooper, who has raised thousands of pounds for Perennial by running the plant crèche at RHS Hampton Court for many years.
- The Grubby Gardeners who again undertook excellent fundraising efforts including skydiving in May, the Dirty Dozen mud run in April, the British 10K London race and the epic London to Brighton cycle race on a 7-seater bike. Claire Vokins and Jamie Butterworth get individual awards as they were not only part of the London to Brighton 7-seater bike team, but in the same weekend also completed the Nuts Challenge muddy assault course.
Dougal Philip, Chairman of Perennial, said:
“It is our pleasure to recognise the achievements of those who have gone the extra mile in their efforts to support Perennial and name them as our Perennial Champions for 2015. The Party for Perennial is one of the most important nights of the year for Perennial and we are delighted that so many people have bought tickets and helped us establish it as an unmissable occasion for those in the horticulture industry. As Chairman of Perennial, I see first-hand the extraordinary support this charity provides to individuals within the industry, often struggling through no fault of their own – any one of us could be struck down by illness or accident at any time and it’s very reassuring to know that we have Perennial as our safety net.”
Last year’s party for Perennial raised £22,000 through ticket sales, raffle and auction. The impressive list of prizes donated for this year’s raffle and auction, hosted by Andrew Fisher Tomlin, ensured a great start to Perennial’s 2016 fundraising campaign.
All funds raised will help support UK horticulturists, retired and of working age, and their families, who come to Perennial for help. People like Peter Mills who turned to Perennial after a serious accident at work left him unable to work. He described the support offered to him by Perennial as invaluable and he was present at the Party to say a few words about his experience. Read more about Peter at: http://perennial.org.uk/home/ways-we-can-help/success-stories/peter-finds-perennial-invaluable/
For further information, visit www.perennial.org.uk/party
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Perennial offers free, confidential advice and support to everyone working in or retired from horticulture and their families, including gardeners, landscapers, nursery and garden centre staff, parks and grounds care staff and tree surgeons. People turn to Perennial for financial and emotional help in times of need because of disability, sickness, poverty, financial hardship and old age – although increasingly younger people are seeking their assistance. Many individuals describe the services Perennial offers as a ‘lifeline’. The work of Perennial depends entirely on voluntary donations from the horticultural industry and the garden-loving public.