Perennial launches Go Green for HortAid 2015 and announces bumper fundraising year so far

Perennial’s annual fundraising appeal, HortAid, has already raised over £50,000 in 2015! This includes over £13,500 from challenge events thanks to The Grubby Gardeners mud run and skydive and Nigel Bowcocks’s two marathons in two weeks event. As the summer season of flower shows and garden events really gets into full swing, Perennial is now calling on colleagues from across the industry to start planning for Go Green fortnight which runs from 1 – 14 September.

Anita Bates, Director of Marketing and Development, said;

“Our Go Green theme really struck a cord last year and so we’re hoping people from across the industry will be inspired to fundraise for us this September. I think Tony Arnold really set the tone in 2014 with his green lipstick, stockings and nail polish and we can’t wait to hear about how horticulturists plan to top that this year!

“Perennial simply couldn’t provide the range of services we offer to those working in and retired from horticulture without the help of people across the industry. Our Go Green for HortAid campaign is a crucial part of our annual income and we’re calling on everyone to green up and dig deep this year. Let’s make it one to remember!”

Highlights from the 2014 inaugural Go Green for HortAid campaign, which raised just over £10,500 in total, included:

  • A Kickathon challenge at SALTEX 2014, sponsored by Everiss and Complete Weed Control, raised £2,460
  • Sarah Walsh, whose partner was helped by Perennial, walked the Saints Way in Cornwall with two friends raising over £1,450.
  • Tony Arnold, Chair of the APL and Head Gardener at Newnham College, Cambridge, was sponsored to wear green lipstick, nail varnish and stockings for the day, raising over £1,500.
  • And the garden team from Hever Castle dressed up as gnomes for the day, with a bucket appeal for visitors.

In addition to the usual running, walking, cycling, dressing up and getting muddy events, there are plans afoot for a Go Green Botanical Bake-off. Initiated by Rocky Coles, owner of Well Planted Gardens in Northamptonshire and former Young Horticulturist of the Year, the Botanical Bake-off will take place during Go Green for HortAid. Rocky is looking for a venue and participants to bake competition cakes packed with botanical ingredients. Contact

Anything goes in Go Green fortnight but if you would prefer to join an organised event rather than hold your own, Perennial has some cracking challenge events lined up with places still available.

5 September: Summer Nuts Challenge

Set at Swires Farm in Dorking, the legendary Nuts Challenge course has more than 100 obstacles over a 7km course.

Registration Fee: £44.99 | Pledge to raise £100 in sponsorship

6 September: London to Brighton cycle ride

Tackle one of the UK’s most famous cycle routes and raise money along the way! Starting on Clapham Common, riders take in Mitcham, Carshalton, Chipstead, Banstead, Haywards Heath and finally arrive in Brighton having completed 54 miles!

Registration fee: £40 | Minimum sponsorship: £100

Anytime: Skydiving

Intrepid Perennial thrill-seekers leapt out of an aeroplane on 2 May 2015 to raise over £4,200 for Perennial! Other dates re available – just email the HortAid team or details.


Charlotte Wain, Perennial fundraiser and wife of Andrew Wain, one of the incredible Grubby Gardeners fundraising team, took part in a sponsored skydive for Perennial in April. She says;

“I see first hand why Perennial and the work they do is so important to so many people.  We live in an incredible setting because of Andy and the job he has worked so hard to secure. But the support Perennial gives to others may one day be invaluable to us.  It is not just down to horticulturists to support this fabulous charity, but I feel it is down to me too, as the wife of one, to make an effort to support them too.”

And Thomas Bannister is a young horticulturist who took part in the Dirty Dozen for Perennial earlier this year. He says,

“We all finished together. A team. A cold, wet, aching muddy team, but we did it! We smashed the Dirty Dozen. We sent it packing! It felt great to achieve the 12km, and it felt great to be there on behalf of the amazing Perennial charity. What a top group of guys and girls the Grubbys were! Bring on the next challenge. Dirty 24km anyone??”

There are plenty of ways to get involved with HortAid 2015, 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 2015 and help change the life of someone in crisis. Visit, download a fundraising pack for ideas and information or call the team on 0800 093 8510.

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.


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

Jennie | 07944 55634 |

Clare | 07815 041635 |

About Perennial

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 2014 Perennial assisted its clients in accessing over £1.43million in direct financial help.

All of Perennial’s funds come from the generosity of the horticulture trade and the garden-loving public. To find out more about the work of Perennial and ways to get involved with fundraising during 2015, please visit, email 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.