For the first time this year, as part of its Christmas gift range, Perennial is offering ‘gifts that transform lives’.
These include £25 to provide hot meals for an elderly person for a week and £100 to provide a month’s heating for someone who cannot afford to buy their own oil, gas or coal.
This year so far Perennial has increased its one off grants to help people on low incomes by 32 per cent and given 15 per cent more in grants to cover day-to day living costs compared to the same period last year.
Earlier this year Perennial introduced grocery vouchers and demand for these has grown rapidly. Perennial has also given out around £34,000 in winter fuel payments already this year and expects demand to rise over the next few months as the weather gets colder and people who have to buy their fuel upfront simply can’t afford it.
Perennial services director Sheila Thomson said: "A growing number of horticulturists on low incomes are feeling the strain as the amount of money they have to live on is squeezed by rising food and energy prices, salary freezes and tightened benefit criteria.
"As they face a winter, struggling to put food on the table and heat their homes, Perennial offers a lifeline. We will continue to make these services available to those who need them most, but in order to do this we rely on donations from the horticulture industry and the public. As the festive season approaches, what better way to show support than buying a Christmas gift that will help a family in need?"