National Volunteers Week

“It’s National Volunteers Week and we have a wonderful family of volunteers at Perennial that we would like to thank. Whether you volunteer in the community, the gardens, the warehouse & office or at shows up and down the country, we simply couldn’t do what we do without you. On behalf of all the staff at Perennial and more importantly the people in the horticultural industry and their families who need our help and support, we would like to say a huge thank you for freely giving your time to support the charity and its service users.” James Burns, Community Fundraising Manager

VOLUNTEERS UPDATE – Coronavirus Covid-19

Looking after our Volunteers
The health and welfare of our volunteers is of paramount importance to us, so our immediate response is to suspend all volunteer activity at this time.  Our volunteer managers will be in touch with you all in the coming days/weeks with any updates we may have. Please take care and stay safe and we will see you all very soon.

 

Volunteer your time for Perennial

We depend on our network of dedicated volunteers – they are an essential part of what we do and the charity simply could not function without them.

There are many ways you can give your time to support Perennial. Whether you are an individual who loves gardens and gardening, part of a community group such as a horticultural society or a company looking for volunteering opportunities for staff as part of your social responsibility programme; we have opportunities to suit everyone.

As a Perennial volunteer, you are part of a passionate team of like-minded individuals and gardening enthusiasts who want to help horticulturists in need.

You can give as little or as much time as you would like or are able to. Volunteering for Perennial is a fantastic way to meet people, get involved with the work of the charity and give something back.

There are various activities that volunteers can get involved with that make a relevant and useful contribution to our fundraising objectives. You might work at one of our gsrdens, events or help with existing fundraising activity. Alternatively we are always keen for people to establish their own fundraising or volunteering ideas that might benefit the charity.

If you are interested in finding out more about opportunities for individual and corporate volunteering, please contact James Burns, Community Fundraising Manager.

Telephone: 07946 055 848

Email: jburns@perennial.org.uk


Join our Community Volunteering Teams

Contact us now if you’re interested in volunteering in your local community.


Volunteer at our Wonderful Gardens

York Gate , Leeds

Fullers Mill, Bury st Edmunds

Volunteering

 

We always need volunteers to help out at flower shows, place collection boxes in local garden centres and nurseries and sell Christmas cards at pop-up charity shops.

Volunteering has many benefits, not just to Perennial, but to our volunteers too. The NCVO lists some of them as:

  • Give something back to an organisation that has impacted on a person’s life, either directly or indirectly;
  • Make a difference to the lives of others;
  • Help the environment;
  • Help others less fortunate or without a voice;
  • Feel valued and part of a team;
  • Spend quality time away from work or a busy lifestyle;
  • Gain confidence and self-esteem;

There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that suggests volunteering has a positive impact on health too.

Val’s volunteering experience

“I have been a volunteer at four different charities since 2010. Out of them all Perennial is my charity of choice. I don’t say this to get a gold star or a bar of chocolate, it is simply the truth.

I was a volunteer gardener for 3 years at Hampton Court Palace in the Rose garden and was, at that time, the only volunteer graced with being allowed to use the mess! This meant I became very friendly with the full-time gardeners. None of those I knew, including myself, had heard about Perennial.

I was asked to join Perennial’s volunteer group by helping at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show-in the plant crèche. This was the first time I had ever heard of the charity and as there were obviously many gardeners at Hampton Court who also hadn’t heard of this wonderful organisation, I decided to get involved.

I jumped at the opportunity to spread the word about the great things that Perennial does for people in horticulture and to help raise much needed funds. I have not looked back since.

Everyone at Perennial is fantastic and there are many amazing opportunities to embrace once you are a volunteer. What is particularly great with Perennial is that they take the time to listen to us volunteers, they truly make us feel very special indeed.

At Perennial there is a lot of scope for volunteers to find their groove, either in the office be it filing, making calls and general office work to helping at all the great events that Perennial is involved in.

My specialty is selling, and I work on our trade stands at both Hampton Court and The Chelsea Flower Shows. It’s hard work, but it’s worthwhile and is really good fun getting to meet new people, and whilst selling also telling them about the great work that Perennial does.

Every year there are many events held to raise awareness and money and one of these events is the ”Festival Dinner” which brings together many generous benefactors of Perennial from the world of horticulture who are there to enjoy a great evening and (greatly encouraged by me and other volunteers) to dig, (excuse the pun), very deep into their pockets to help keep Perennial growing!

Being a volunteer with Perennial is so very worthwhile, rewarding, great fun and amazing to know that each and every one of us can contribute towards supporting people in horticulture and their families.

What are you waiting for? Get involved!!”

If you are interested in finding out more about opportunities for individual and corporate volunteering, please contact James Burns, Community Fundraising Manager.

Telephone: 07946 055 848

Email: jburns@perennial.org.uk


Join our Community Volunteering Teams

Contact us now if you’re interested in volunteering in your local community.


Volunteer at our Wonderful Gardens

York Gate , Leeds

Fullers Mill, Bury st Edmunds

Volunteering

 

Employee volunteering is a great way for a company to fulfil its Corporate Social Responsibility, while making a valuable contribution to our work and offering employees a rewarding experience.

Groups of corporate volunteers are particularly useful to us as they can offer skilled and efficient team members who we can trust to undertake projects effectively.

Volunteering gives your employees the opportunity to break free from their normal work routine, boosting morale and in turn enabling your company to improve employee retention.

There’s no business like show business

Paul had been an active volunteer for Perennial for a number of years, so when he started work at Unilever and his team was looking for a day out volunteering, he suggested they help out at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

The first year, over 30 volunteers from the Unilever Planning Team manned the cloakroom and Plant Crèche, the proceeds from which all went to Perennial.

In subsequent years, Paul encouraged other teams from Unilever to take part so they could work in rotation to fill all of the volunteering slots, as well as getting involved with other events such as the Garden Show at Firle Place, increasing the amount of money they could raise for Perennial.

For companies, it can be difficult to find volunteering opportunities where a whole team can take part together, but often it is team-building activities that most benefit the business.

Helping out at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show was not only a ready-made opportunity for a team event, it was also an attractive day out and a fantastic event for the employees to feel part of.

Bringing whole teams from Unilever worked well as the groups already knew how to operate as a team and quickly slotted into roles that suited their individual strengths.

They were happy to be customer facing and able to deal with a variety of situations that arose, meaning the operation went smoothly and the total amount raised for Perennial has increased year after year.

If you are interested in finding out more about opportunities for individual and corporate volunteering, please contact James Burns, Community Fundraising Manager.

Telephone: 07946 055 848

Email: jburns@perennial.org.uk


Join our Community Volunteering Teams

Contact us now if you’re interested in volunteering in your local community.


Volunteer at our Wonderful Gardens

York Gate , Leeds

Fullers Mill, Bury st Edmunds

Volunteering

 

OUR MAN IN CORNWALL

George Kestell has been raising money for and awareness of Perennial in Cornwall for over 15 years. In addition to voluntarily planning, building and running Perennial exhibits at Cornish flower shows and events, he has taken every possible opportunity available to spread the word about the charity’s services and raise money through fundraising events and product sales.

Photo courtesy of Britt Willoughby Dyer

George has taken volunteering for Perennial to the next level – he has made the charity part of his day job and in the process has helped Perennial significantly raise awareness of its services among professional horticulturists across Cornwall, and has referred several people directly to Perennial for help. Here he talks about what it means to him to be a Perennial volunteer and what drives him on to continue to support the only charity in the UK dedicated to helping people across the horticulture industry.

“I first heard about Perennial when I was at college, training as a horticulturist. Someone from the charity came in to tell us about it and although I listened with interest, I put it to the back of my mind at the time. It wasn’t until much later in my career, in 2001 I think, that I was looking for a way to give something back to the industry. Perennial was the perfect fit.”

George started by raising money via Perennial’s Christmas card over-printing service, sending charity cards to all his customers and clients, and from there went on to stage numerous exhibits at the Royal Cornwall Show (winning a Gold Medal in 2014, the charity’s 175th year) and using speaking opportunities at gardening clubs to raise awareness of Perennial and sell a few products and cards.

“Over the years I think I’ve probably raised about £25,000 for Perennial but more importantly I have become known as ‘the chap who helps the gardeners’ charity’! I have taken it upon myself to ensure that people know about Perennial in Cornwall and have even referred a few colleagues and friends for help over the years.”

One such person was a friend and fellow student of George’s who had to give up work on a nursery due to ill health. George insisted she call Perennial for help and she recalls the speed at which her situation began to change after making contact. (Read more about Kate’s story here.)

Asked why he volunteers for Perennial and what advice he give others thinking about volunteering their time, George says:

“Working voluntarily for Perennial fulfilled a need in me to do something philanthropic, not driven by commercial interests, that benefitted the industry I love and have worked in since I was a boy. But in doing so my career has undoubtedly benefitted too – volunteering has opened doors for me which have led to new work and has enabled me to become known for something beyond my abilities as a horticulturist. My advice would simply be to try it – you never know where it may lead.”

George Kestell is a lecturer in horticulture at Duchy College, is a regular gardening contributor on BBC Radio Cornwall, is a member of the Cornwall Head Gardeners Group and runs a successful garden design and consultancy business across Cornwall.

Photos courtesy of Britt Willoughby Dyer

Photos taken recently at a Chelsea Fringe event at The Duchy Nursery in Cornwall where George staged a Perennial exhibit. All photos courtesy of Britt Willoughby Dyer.

A match made in (gardening) heaven…

Angela is a valued member of the Perennial volunteering network. Here she explains why she loves to help out whenever she can:

“A client of my gardening business introduced me to the work of Perennial in 2012, just as it was about to re-launch … and what a transformation! I was very interested to hear all about it and immediately signed up to be a volunteer and generally be of help whenever possible.

“And then a wonderful thing happened on my very first volunteer tour of duty at the rose crèche at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Aside from having an incredibly enjoyable day, a fellow volunteer that day was Anne – we got chatting and it turned out to be a match made in gardening heaven!

“Anne wanted her garden re-designed, and I wanted to expand my design portfolio.  The result: within three months of our very first meeting at Hampton Court and in record time, Anne now has a lovely new garden.  It was such a pleasure to work with Anne, a model client, and we had great fun visiting gardens for inspiration (complete with sticky buns!).

“All this thanks to Perennial!  It’s great knowing the charity is there for all of us working in the industry, and I’m delighted to be able to support it to ensure it’s there if I need it in the future.”

Angela Palmerton
Lady Penelope Gardening

www.ladypenelopegardening.com

If you are interested in finding out more about opportunities for individual and corporate volunteering, please contact James Burns, Community Fundraising Manager.

Telephone: 07946 055 848

Email: jburns@perennial.org.uk


Join our Community Volunteering Teams

Contact us now if you’re interested in volunteering in your local community.


Volunteer at our Wonderful Gardens

York Gate , Leeds

Fullers Mill, Bury st Edmunds

Volunteering

 

At Perennial we’re lucky enough to work across all sectors of horticulture and get involved with a wide range of activities, from working in our own gardens to talking to tree surgeons at forestry shows to selling gifts and cards or being on show gardens at the Chelsea Flower showAll these activities help to raise awareness and funds which ultimately results in building better futures for people in horticulture, and their families. But we can’t do this without our wonderful volunteers, and we desperately need your help too! 

Visitor numbers have more than doubled at both our York Gate and Fuller Mill gardens. This means more people are learning about the charity and the help we can give people who might be struggling, and as a result more families are receiving our support. However, the increasing number of visitors is putting a huge strain on our current staff and volunteers, so we desperately need people to help take money at the gate, serve refreshments and sell plants, gifts and cards. The volunteers at the gardens enjoy being part of the team, making new friends and making a real difference. They also enjoy special access to the gardens, exclusive social activities, free Friends membership giving access to all Perennial gardens and to sample the delicious homemade cakes! 

Garden Volunteers Needed at York Gate, Leeds

It’s an incredibly exciting time at York Gate (Leeds, LS16 8DW). During this winter we are creating a new café, new shop and new admissions and heritage centre. As such we need to increase our team of volunteers substantially to help in all three areas. This is an opportunity to get involved at the start of a new adventure! To find out more please contact Sally Latchford on 0113 267 8240 or email slatchford@perennial.org.uk  

Linda Robinson volunteer at York Gate says – ‘I’ve met so many interesting people, been involved in things I never imagined I’d do, learned so much, and had a lot of fun.  I still catch my breath when I go through the gate into this beautiful setting, and know I’m volunteering in support of such a worthwhile cause.”   

Garden Volunteers Needed at Fullers Mill, Bury st Edmunds

Visitor numbers at Fullers Mill (Bury st Edmunds, IP28 6HD) have also increased dramatically over the last couple of years following appearances on BBC Gardeners World and the national press. At Fullers Mill the ‘front of house’ volunteers have the opportunity to move from admissions to serving tea and cake and other roles as needed. Annie Dellbridge  (Head Gardener) is looking forward to telling you more, please call her on 01284 728888 or email ADellbridge@perennial.org.uk   

Lizzie Powles a volunteer at Fullers Mill comments – ‘A big thank you to everyone at Fullers Mill Garden for making me so welcome in my first year of volunteering in the Bothy Tearoom and now in the garden too.   Since recently moving to Suffolk I have found that volunteering has helped me settle into the area and make a lot of wonderful new friends’ 

Volunteers needed in the community 

In 2019 we saw a 10% increase in the number of people who have come to us for support. However, self-employed gardeners, landscapers and tree surgeons are hard for us to reach through standard marketing activity  face to face and word of mouth are by far the best way to spread the word, but Perennial staff can’t be everywhereSo, we’re building a network of community volunteer groups to help raise awareness and funds by running stalls at local shows, giving talks at local community groups, supporting challenge and event fundraisers, running fundraising events, distributing collection tins… and just organising or getting involved with activities you enjoyAll this will help increase the number of people finding out that we’re here for them, and to also raise the funds to meet the needs of our everincreasing number of service users. 

“Working voluntarily for Perennial fulfilled a need in me to do something philanthropic, not driven by commercial interests, that benefitted the industry I love and have worked in since I was a boy. But in doing so my career has undoubtedly benefitted too – volunteering has opened doors for me which have led to new work and has enabled me to become known for something beyond my abilities as a horticulturist. My advice would simply be to try it – you never know where it may lead.”  George Kestell is a lecturer in horticulture at Duchy College, is a regular gardening contributor on BBC Radio Cornwall, is a member of the Cornwall Head Gardeners Group and runs a successful garden design and consultancy business across Cornwall. 

To find out more about becoming part of the Perennial team and the wide range of community volunteer roles and opportunities that are available throughout the UK James Burns, Community Fundraising Manager on 07946 055848 or email on jburns@perennial.org.uk   

If you are interested in finding out more about opportunities for individual and corporate volunteering, please contact James Burns, Community Fundraising Manager.

Telephone: 07946 055 848

Email: jburns@perennial.org.uk


Join our Community Volunteering Teams

Contact us now if you’re interested in volunteering in your local community.


Volunteer at our Wonderful Gardens

York Gate , Leeds

Fullers Mill, Bury st Edmunds

Volunteering

 

Why not volunteer for us in your local Cards for Good Causes (CFGC) shop this Christmas season?

Exeter (1)

Cards for Good Causes is the UK’s largest multi-charity Christmas card organisation, selling Christmas cards on behalf of 250 national and local charities. Perennial is one of the 25 national member charities that sells cards in every shop.

CFGC manages a national network of over 300 temporary shops, throughout the country, from Truro to Pitlochry.  Most shops are staffed by volunteers from the participating charities, including us!

Get Involved

Every year more people are needed to work in one of the 300 Cards for Good Causes pop-up shops across the UK, in community locations such as churches, schools, libraries and town halls.

VIEW THE LIST OF VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES ONLINE

APPLY TO BECOME A CARDS FOR GOOD CAUSES VOLUNTEER

  • All that is asked is that you volunteer for at least one 3 hour session per week, or one session per fortnight, for the duration of the trading season, on average 6-10 weeks from October – December. Having made a commitment, please do everything you can to fulfil it.
  • Training is given in all procedures including the use of the electronic tills and, where applicable, operation of credit/debit card machines.
  • Volunteering is an enjoyable experience and many volunteers return year after year.

If you or anyone you know might like to the opportunity to meet new people and give some time to a worthwhile cause then please get in touch with us or with CFGC direct:

Call: 01264 361555 or visit http://www.cardsforcharity.co.uk/opportunities-managersand-volunteers/.

To find your local CFGC shop visit www.cardsforcharity.co.uk/our-shops/.

If you are interested in finding out more about opportunities for individual and corporate volunteering, please contact James Burns, Community Fundraising Manager.

Telephone: 07946 055 848

Email: jburns@perennial.org.uk


Join our Community Volunteering Teams

Contact us now if you’re interested in volunteering in your local community.


Volunteer at our Wonderful Gardens

York Gate , Leeds

Fullers Mill, Bury st Edmunds

Volunteering

 

Interested in volunteering for Perennial?

Complete this short form to register your interest.

Volunteering - Register Your Interest

If you would like to volunteer for Perennial, or find out more, complete this short form.
  • Which areas of volunteering are you interested in? Please tick all that apply.

If you are interested in finding out more about opportunities for individual and corporate volunteering, please contact James Burns, Community Fundraising Manager.

Telephone: 07946 055 848

Email: jburns@perennial.org.uk


Join our Community Volunteering Teams

Contact us now if you’re interested in volunteering in your local community.


Volunteer at our Wonderful Gardens

York Gate , Leeds

Fullers Mill, Bury st Edmunds

Volunteering

 

Dorset

Jurassic Coast Weekend


WHEN: 7 – 9 May 2021 / 3– 5 September 2021

Registration fee £80 (non refundable) Fundraising Target £600


More information →

Wales

Snowdon by Night


WHEN: 21 – 22 August 2021

Registration fee £48 (non refundable) Fundraising Target £350


More information →

Cornwall

Cornish Coastal Challenge


WHEN: 17 – 19 September 2021

Registration Fee – £80 (non refundable) Fundraising target – £600


More information →