Gardens & Health Week 2018 – how the National Garden Scheme helps Perennial deliver life-changing services

The National Garden Scheme is Perennial’s largest single annual donor, with garden owners helping to raise over £130,000 for the charity in 2017. This week new research has been released as part of the National Garden Scheme’s new campaign, Open the garden gate to wellbeing, which reveals visiting a private garden really is good for you.  Over 85% of garden visitors reported that being in a National Garden Scheme garden had a positive impact on their mental wellbeing and 8 out of 10 felt happier after visiting than before.

Despite almost all (98%) having their own garden, two thirds of respondents say visiting a private garden can be a calming experience (67%) and an enjoyable way to spend time with loved ones (64%), around half say it aids creativity (53%) and gives you that feel-good factor because you’re donating to charity (52%).

Perennial helped almost 1,500 people in 2017 who were struggling with life’s many challenges. One of those people is Richard Brind, a retired professional gardener who, due to an unexpected leg amputation later, was no longer able to tend his own garden. This led to a decline in his physical and mental health. Watch our short film to find out how Perennial helped and read more about Richard’s story here.

Open the garden gate to wellbeing is being launched during the charity’s annual Gardens and Health Week (18th– 24thAugust), and highlights the impact of gardens on mental wellbeing. George Plumptre, CEO the National Garden Scheme, said:

“Visiting a National Garden Scheme garden is probably not the first thing people think of when they’re looking to de-stress. But spending an hour or two wandering around a truly beautiful garden that has been lovingly cultivated by its owners, and enjoying a slice of homemade cake and a cup of tea, is incredibly restorative and rivals any other act of self-care that is commonly promoted.

“The National Garden Scheme isn’t just about opening gardens for charity – we introduced Gardens and Health Week because we are passionate about promoting the many ways gardens are more than just scenic. As our latest research shows, the effect garden visiting can have on mental wellbeing is heartening and I would encourage anyone who would like an escape from their busy life to visit one of our gardens.”

Peter Newman, Chief Executive of Perennial said:

“For those who love gardens and green spaces, working in horticulture can be truly fulfilling. But the work is often physical, seasonal and poorly paid, so a sudden emergency such as an accident or injury can devastate horticulturists and their families. Perennial exists as a lifeline for those who find themselves in crisis, and supports them for as long as it takes to rebuild their lives. The funds that we receive from the National Garden Scheme is crucial in helping us extend our reach and help more horticulturists in need. The National Garden Scheme donation is Perennial’s largest annual gift and it makes a huge difference to hundreds of lives. We are profoundly grateful to the many people who open their beautiful gardens, year after year, to raise these much needed funds.”

If you know someone who needs help, find out more about Perennial’s free and confidential advice and support services here or call 0800 093 8543.