A day in the life: Chris Crooker, Events Manager at Perennial

Chris Crooker  joined Perennial as Events Manager just over two years ago.

She had worked in event management for many years but hadn’t heard of Perennial until she saw the job advertised. It was a new role for Perennial which, at the time, offered limited events and activities for those wishing to support the charity but knew the appetite was there. Chris jumped at the opportunity to combine her event management skills with a new charity challenge closer to home.

(Pictured above right with Raymond Blanc at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in 2015)


What does a typical day look like for you?

There is no typical day! Most days I work across a variety of events: anything from liaising with venues for our exclusive garden tour programme, to catching up with fundraisers who are undertaking one of our challenges to briefing volunteers who work with us at various flower shows. A large part of my job is to organise the Party for Perennial, our annual fundraising bash that we reintroduced in 2015. I’m already talking to suppliers for our January 2018 event! But this is only a tiny snapshot – I’m so lucky to have such a varied job.

What aspects of your role give you most satisfaction?

The variety is certainly fantastic and as we’re a small team we all muck in together which is great. It’s also satisfying to know that our work is helping to keep our team of brilliant Caseworkers on the road helping horticulturists in need, which is ultimately why we’re all here.

We recently commissioned some client films which for me really captured what we do in a very tangible and emotive way. The three films were all very powerful and I think reaffirmed to all Perennial employees why they do their job. (You can watch the films here.)

If you could change one thing about your role what would it be?

To have more days in the week! We’re a creative team and are forever coming up with new ideas and new events that we would like to either organise or take part in. But there’s only so much that we can manage at any given time.

If you had to choose to complete one of the challenges you help organise for Perennial, which one would it be?

I need to be careful what I say here! The Nuts Challenge (5k mud assault course) would probably be at the top of my list. Not only because the course looks fun but because we organise a bespoke event for horticulturists so everyone knows each other and the atmosphere is absolutely fantastic!

What is the best way for people to support the work of Perennial?

There are so many ways now: if you’re in the trade you can become a Perennial Partner and support us through an annual donation, there’s a myriad of sporting events (runs, cycles, treks, skydives) that anyone can take part in or sponsor. Individuals can become ‘Friends of Perennial’, buy tickets for our Special Events (our exclusive garden tour programme), support us by buying our products from our online shop or at the flower shows, volunteer at our events and shows, donate or leave us a legacy. There really is something for everyone!

 

And finally, what challenge would you most like to add to Perennial’s calendar of events in the future?

I may have just done it! Last week I added the ‘Great Wall of China Discovery’ – a 10 day trek taking in some beautiful parts of the Great Wall for our 2018 Events calendar. A few years back I did one of these treks – to Machu Picchu in Peru – as a personal challenge so I know how well organized these events are and what an incredible experience the participants have. I know that anyone who signs up will have the ultimate trip of a lifetime. Who wouldn’t want to trek one of the Seven Wonders of the World!?


If you, or someone you know, works in or is retired from horticulture and needs help, please contact Perennial today. Find out more about how Perennial can help here.

Current Perennial job vacancies can be found here.