Go Green for HortAid from 1 – 14 September 2014

How will you Go Green to raise funds for Perennial to help horticulturists in crisis?

Whether you don a green morph suit for the day or pledge to cycle to work for two weeks, Perennial, the UK’s only charity dedicated to helping all horticulturists in crisis, is calling on the industry and the garden-loving public to ‘go green’ and raise funds for its 175th anniversary appeal. The charity, which is on track to raise £175,000 during 2014, hopes the ‘go green’ theme will strike a cord with all those working in horticulture.


Anita Bates, Director of Marketing and Development, said;

“HortAid 2014 is a chance for anyone who works in horticulture and all those who love gardening to get involved and help us support more horticulturists than ever before. We have some fantastic fundraising events lined up for our HortAid fortnight this year but need more pledges to reach our target of £175,000.”

  • A team of four gardeners, led by Sarah Walsh, will trek the Saints Way Challenge from 11 – 13 August – a coast to coast walk across Cornwall. Donate here
  • Dale Connelly, one half of the Skinny Jeans Gardeners, will ride a 100km Crafted Classique sponsored cycle on 30 August. Donate here
  • Perennial will be at SALTEX trade show from 2 – 4 September with a ‘Kickathon’ fundraising challenge. In addition to telling visitors and exhibitors about the work of the charity, everyone visiting the stand will be encouraged to enter the football speed challenge to raise money during the show. A leaderboard will be on display and the fastest kick announced at the end of each day.
  • Helmsley Walled Garden is donating half the gate takings from its open day on 7 September 2014.
  • A ‘Feng Shui in your garden’ event is being held at Moss Wood Garden in Cheshire on 10 September. Voluntary donations will be collected for Perennial on the day.
  • A special event at Windsor Castle will raise funds for HortAid on 10 September. A Military Knight’s Tale is a new and unique tour giving a personal insight into the ancient and noble institution of the Military Knights of Windsor. Tickets are £40.
  • Perennial will once again be Show Charity at the Harrogate Autumn Show from 12 – 14 September.

 And Perennial is hoping the intrepid team of Grubby Gardeners – who appeared naked on national television for Perennial earlier this year – will be using the Go Green theme to make another appearance during HortAid 2014.

There are plenty of ways to get involved with HortAid 2014, whether you are an individual who loves gardens or a horticulture business keen to raise funds to help colleagues around the industry. Go Green for HortAid 2014 and help change the life of someone in crisis. Visit www.hortaid.org.uk for ideas and information about submitting your event or call the team on 0800 093 8510.

The first half of 2014 has seen Perennial win medals for gardens and exhibits at Harrogate Spring Flower Show, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Gardening Scotland and the Royal Cornwall Show, staged with the help of industry stalwarts including Coblands Nurseries, Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants, CED Natural Stone and Majestic Trees. In addition it has secured 13 new Perennial Partners and supporters, staged 16 successful special events and been helped by over 1,000 volunteers. The exposure at shows and via TV and press coverage has been unprecedented – the charity has easily surpassed its audience reach via media coverage in 2013 in the first six months of 2014 with an additional interested and engaged social media audience that grows daily.

But far from using the opportunity to take a break and sit back during the summer months, Perennial’s team of dedicated fundraisers, marketers and front-line services staff are excited about breaking all records in 2014. Sheila Thomson, Perennial’s Director of Services said,

“We set out to in January 2014 to put Perennial firmly on the UK horticulture map, embedding its values and service offering in the hearts and minds of all the major UK horticulture businesses as well as raising a life-changing amount of money for our clients. We are likely to see another year on year rise in client numbers this year and it’s thanks to increased awareness and continued access to funds to help people that allow us to continue to reach horticulturists and their families in need.”

Perennial’s wide-ranging benevolent services are regularly described by clients simply as a ‘lifeline’ – over 85% of clients say that Perennial’s help had a ‘huge’ or ‘quite big’ effect on their lives – but without the financial support of the UK horticulture industry, their long-term continuation is threatened. The 175th anniversary appeal is seen as the first step in galvanizing future relationships with supporters and a stepping-stone to reaching a record number of clients in 2014/15.


For further information, images or to arrange interviews, please contact Jennie Spears or Clare Johnson from Bloom PR & Communications:

Jennie  |  07944 55634  |  jennie.spears@me.com

Clare  |  07815 041635  |  clarejohnson2@me.com

About Perennial

Perennial celebrates its 175th anniversary in 2014 and is on track to raise £175,000 for horticulturists in need. Established in 1839, The Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Fund, or Perennial as it is now known, helps everyone working in and retired from horticulture, including landscapers, gardeners, garden designers, green keepers, tree surgeons, groundsmen, seed and turf growers, those involved in intensive production horticulture, parks and gardens staff and many more, and their families during times of crisis. The charity provides a range of support to people experiencing hardship whether through debt, illness, disability or old age. In the current economic climate this help is needed more than it ever was; in 2013, Perennial helped over 1,200 people, over 85% of whom were still of working age.

All of Perennial’s funds come from the generosity of the horticulture trade and the garden-loving public. Perennial is calling on everyone who cares about looking after the people that care for our green spaces to get involved by raising £175 for 175 this year. To find out more about the work of Perennial and ways to get involved with fundraising during 2014, please visit www.perennial.org.uk, email info@perennial.org.uk or call one of the team on 0800 093 8510.

To keep up to date with the latest news, follow Perennial on Twitter: @PerennialGRBS and like Perennial on facebook.