For many, Christmas is a time to spend celebrating with friends and loved ones by exchanging gifts and sharing food. Yet, for the families who need our help, Christmas is an extra financial burden they simply cannot afford as they are already struggling to pay for essentials such as food, warm winter clothing and heating. Many people working in horticulture are on low incomes and unemployment is rife over the winter months.

As a result, mental health issues are increasingly prevalent in the industry, often leading to a downward spiral where people feel they can no longer cope. Our services have frequently been described as a ‘lifeline’ by those who before receiving our help, saw no way out.

By giving a donation this Christmas you will be paramount in our effort to transform lives, before the worst happens.

As a single parent, Leigh is dependent on regular work to support himself and his son. For seven years, he has been sub-contracted as a self-employed domestic landscaper by a larger firm. In November 2016, the volume of work Leigh was being asked to take on began to take its toll. Stress caused acute psoriasis of the hands and feet leaving painful open sores and making walking and working almost impossible. In March 2017 he broke down and finally admitted he needed help and the doctor advised him to stop work until his  hands and feet recovered.

“My income stopped overnight and although I was prescribed a temporary treatment, I needed to see a dermatologist and the waiting list was six months. I just didn’t know how I was going to cope and the worry contributed to my illness.
Luckily, I was referred to Perennial and within a week I had received a visit from my caseworker. He was brilliant from day one, helping me fill in forms to apply for financial help while I was unable to work. It was like a huge weight had been lifted and I know that it has helped my recovery. After six months, I was referred for regular UV light treatment.
Although the individual sessions only last a few minutes, the recovery process is very slow. Now I am able to stay on my
feet for longer periods of time each day and have started to return to work. If it wasn’t for Perennial, I don’t know where we’d be now.”

Stephen is a landscape gardener. He and his partner Vicki, who herself has a long-term health condition, have four children. After working for a landscaping firm for many years, Stephen decided to start his own business and for some time things were going well. Stephen is diabetic and he started to lose his sight. He had to stop driving and was deemed unfit to continue working. After eye surgery, Stephen had to give up horticulture and this led to him being diagnosed with clinical depression.

“Perennial has been there for us, for me. We were doing OK when Stephen was working, but almost overnight our financial situation changed and we really didn’t know how we were going to cope.
Perennial helped us with our finances and have supported both Stephen and me through this depression. It took a while for us to accept that we needed help, but we have no regrets and are just so glad we came across them. I don’t think we would have known what to do without them. We would encourage others in similar situations to get in touch with Perennial sooner rather than later. We’re still struggling – Stephen is learning to cope with his loss of sight and I make regular trips to the hospital to avoid losing the use of my legs.
But Perennial continues to be there for us and we know we can call our caseworker for advice and support as and when we need it.”

Christmas gift for a child | £15

Some parents are unable to afford Christmas presents for their children. Your donation could help put a smile on a child’s face and spread a little festive cheer.

Christmas food voucher | £50

For many, feeding the family a traditional Christmas dinner is financially impossible. Your donation could help a family struggling to make ends meet to buy food.

Travel to see family | £75

During the festive season, time with family is cherished. However, many simply cannot afford the travel costs to spend time with loved ones. Your donation could bring a family together at Christmas.

Scarves, hats & gloves | £25

These clothes rank low in a list of necessities for struggling families, but in the bitter cold, they are essential. With just a small donation, we can provide warm clothes to those who need it most.

Caseworker visit | £50

Our team of caseworkers travel the length and breadth of the country to visit hundreds of people who desperately need our personal services. Your donation could help to cover a day of travelling costs.

Heating fuel bills | £100

For those whose income is not sufficient to cover the ever increasing winter bills, a donation of £100 could pay for a month’s heating and keep a family warm.

For 180 years, Perennial has been dedicated to helping all horticulturists in need and at Christmas time our services are needed more than ever.
Last year we supported 158 disadvantaged people and their families with the cost of Christmas. The number of people needing our help increases every year and we are reliant on generous donations from people like you to ensure we are able to deliver this. Even the smallest of donations can help to buy the winter essentials we often take for granted and to spread a little festive cheer to those who need it most.
Click here transform a life today.

La Goccia, Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden, London

Party for Perennial 2019

WHEN: Tuesday 29 January 2019, 7:00pm - 11:00pm


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Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London

Abseiling down the ArcelorMittal Orbit

WHEN: Saturday 6 April 2019

£25 non-refundable registration fee | Minimum of £250 sponsorship raised per person

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