The Gardeners’ Guild presented Perennial with a cheque for £1,000 as a result of its fundraising efforts, at a members’ event held at the Medicine Garden in Cobham. The Gardeners’ Guild is one of the largest trade member organisations for professional gardeners and Perennial is its Charity of the Year for 2016.
Fundraising activity undertaken for Perennial included a team of Gardeners Guild members entering the ‘Go Nuts for Perennial’ mud race during September, during the HortAid fortnight. The three self-employed gardeners, Thomas Stone, Miranda Munday and Graham Lawlor, were the highest team fundraisers on the day, meaning they also received the Golden Fork trophy.
The Medicine Garden is a Victorian walled garden that was restored and rebuilt by owner Paul Studholme. As well as the garden, which is open to the public, Paul has created a community of small businesses in the adjacent courtyard with spaces for events. Perennial and Gardeners Guild attendees enjoyed a tour of the garden and a talk from Paul about how he redeveloped it.
Laura Garnett, Development Manager from Perennial said:
“Many thanks to the Gardeners Guild for supporting Perennial and raising money and awareness. It can be difficult for us to reach individual, self-employed gardeners who many need our help, so we are pleased to be working with the Gardeners Guild to spread the word among its members in case they or anyone they know should ever need our support.”
Gary Edwards, founder of The Gardeners Guild said:
“Choosing Perennial as our Charity of the Year has been a way to help create better awareness among our members of what Perennial does. The relationship with Perennial is mutually beneficial and one we hope to continue to build in in the future.”
Perennial helps people like Mr and Mrs Thomas* who worked together as self-employed gardeners for over 30 years and are now retired, caring for their disabled son. They were referred to Perennial when they needed financial help towards the total cost of a disabled facilities grant to provide a walk-in bathroom.
Perennial was able to assist Mr Thomas in claiming attendance allowance as he was eligible for disability benefit and Mrs Thomas was able to claim carer’s allowance, as well as a pension credit that entitled them to a full council tax reduction. As a result of Perennial’s help, they improved their financial situation and Perennial also contributed towards the cost of providing a walk-in bathroom/wet room.
*Name has been changed to protect client identity
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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.
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