The Three Peakers Ride Again Team, Grubby Gardeners, Paresh Raithatha, Butter Wakefield, GIMA and Mazegarden were all presented Perennial Champions Awards by James Alexander Sinclair for the huge contributions they made to HortAid 2016 at the event, held in The Barbican, London, on 19 January.
During the year the Three Peaker’s Ride Again Team raised more than £40,000 by completing an epic six-day cycle from Snowdon to Land’s End. Extreme physical effort was also the hallmark of The Grubby Gardeners, who entered the largest team into the Nuts Challenge and owner of Ansell Garden Centre, London, Paresh Raithatha, who raised the most individually – more than £4,000, by running The London Marathon for Perennial.
Garden designers Butter Wakefield and Ann-Marie Powell were fearless in the face of danger when they undertook tandem skydives. Wakefield also opened her garden to raise money and signed up as a Gold Perennial Partner. Richard Bushby and Sandra Hamilton also continued their 13-year fundraising drive by opening Mazegarden near Chichester to raise money. GIMA, The Garden Industry Manufacturer’s Association, made Perennial the beneficiary charity for its Golf Day last June and for the GIMA Awards raising in total £6,300.
Perennial chairman Dougal Philip said: "We appreciate the enormous amount of support this unique charity receives from across our incredible industry and the Party for Perennial gives us the chance to thank everyone who has been involved.
"Last year with the commitment of our supporters, we raised more money than ever before for HortAid. The Champions awards recognise those supporters in particular who went above and beyond in their support for Perennial – their contribution makes a huge difference in changing lives for the better."
Fundraising for HortAid 2017, launched at last night's event, has already started. Hortus Loci has offered to donate 10p from the sale of each of its newly-discovered Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Whitewater Silver’ via New Place Nurseries cultivar to Perennial in perpetuity. Perennial is also totting up how much was raised from a raffle and auction at the party itself.
The Party for Perennial was sponsored by CED Stone Group, the Horticultural Trades Association, Bulldog Tools, Bulrush, the Landscape Show and Sodexo Horticultural Services. Horticulture Week is media partner.