Perennial Marathon heroes raise nearly £5,000 for HortAid

HortAid logo

Paresh Raithatha and Andrew O’Brien joined 38,000 runners and became true HortAid heroes on Sunday 24 April as they ran over the finish line of the Virgin London Marathon 2016. They both smashed their fundraising targets, between them raising over £4,900 for Perennial, the only UK charity dedicated to helping all horticulturists in times of need. The 2016 HortAid fundraising to date stands at over £44,000 meaning the ‘Marathon Men’ have raised around 10% of the total so far!

Perennial's Chris Crooker and Jamie Hill were on hand to welcome in Andrew O'Brien and Paresh Raithatha as they finished the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 24 April 2016.

Andrew O’Brien, gardener, blogger and owner of Kent-based business Grow Garden Care, joined Paresh Raithatha, Managing Director of Ansell Garden Centre in West Drayton, Middlesex at the start line of the iconic and grueling race of races. It was the first time the charity had two people with ballot places in the race.

Both runners have been supported throughout their training and fundraising by family, friends and colleagues from across the industry via Twitter. Following the race, Andrew (@darwinboerne) tweeted:

@PerennialChris @AnsellGC thanks so much for cheering us on and all the amazing support you and the @PerennialGRBS team gave us! ;oP x

And this morning, they are both feeling the burn in their legs as they recover from the 26.2 mile run. Paresh (@AnsellGC) has tweeted:

@PerennialChris @darwinboerne @PerennialGRBS very achy though can’t believe I actually did it!!

Chris Crooker, Events Manager at Perennial, was in London with Marketing Manager Jamie Hill to offer support, in more ways than one, during and after the race. She said:

“The atmosphere in London yesterday was just incredible and we were in awe of our two heroes who both ran a fantastic race for Perennial. The money they have raised will make a huge difference to the lives of horticulturists Perennial helps and we hope their efforts will inspire others to get involved in HortAid this year. A huge thank you from all of us at Perennial!”

Perennial is the only UK charity offering all those who work in, or are retired from horticulture free and confidential advice, financial assistance and support through life’s many challenges. A dedicated network of trained caseworkers provides one-to-one help throughout the UK. For many, the services Perennial provides are simply a ‘lifeline’. Find out more at

You can still support Andrew and Paresh by donating securely at:

Virgin Money Giving | Andrew O’Brien

Virgin Money Giving | Paresh Raithatha

To find out how you can get involved in HortAid 2016, visit 


Notes to Editors:

For all media enquiries, interviews, photographs and additional information, please contact:

Clare Johnson | | 07815 041635

Jennie Spears | | 07944 552634


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. 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 their assistance. Many individuals describe the services Perennial offers as a ‘lifeline’. The work of Perennial depends entirely on voluntary donations from the horticultural industry and the garden-loving public.


Find out more at Follow us on Twitter @PerennialGRBS or find us on Facebook.