Marek worked as a tree surgeon and conservation manager at a golf course before his accident. He had a young family, with a baby on the way, when he fell from a tree while helping a friend at the weekend. His fall resulted in severe brain injury and a medically induced coma. His partner, Ann Marie, talks about how the family was supported by Perennial – a charity she had previously never heard of – helping with financial arrangements and navigating the benefits system as well as being there as emotional support.
She says of Perennial:
“They were like cuddly arms, giving you a big hug and taking away all the pressure of everything else that you have to deal with to survive. I can live this life day in day out as we are, but they’re in the background there, so if I ever feel that I need some guidance, I’ve got them there as support.”
Perennial is the only UK charity dedicated to helping all horticulturists. 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, for as long as it is needed.
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 assistance. Many individuals describe the services Perennial offers simply as a ‘lifeline’. The work of Perennial depends entirely on voluntary donations from the horticulture industry and the garden-loving public.