More people seeking help from trade charity

Horticulture trade charity Perennial helped 15 per cent more people in 2013 than in 2012, assisting its clients in accessing £1.5m in direct financial help.

Last year, Perennial helped 1,221 people dealing with more than £3m of debt. It reported that the number of debt clients is rising, with a 17 per cent increase in 2013 following a 25 per cent increase the previous year.

This year, Perennial celebrates its 175th anniversary and has relaunched its website to make it easier for people who need help to find information and get in touch.

Among the horticulture professions helped by the charity during 2013, 68 per cent were directly working in gardening and of these 15 per cent were self-employed. Landscapers accounted for 21 per cent of clients, while the fastest-growing category was groundsmen and greenkeepers - 23 per cent of new clients and 16 per cent of the total for last year.

During 2013, 86 per cent of new clients were under retirement age, while 65 per cent of the total number of clients were under retirement age.

Caseworkers helped their clients to claim some £728,000 worth of statutory benefits, compared with £636,000 in 2012.

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