Perennial director of services Julia Hayne said: “We know people are worried; it’s only natural to be concerned about your own health, your ability to continue working and to support your family. We’re here to reassure, advise and help you through the coming weeks and months. We all need to work together on this. We are all facing unprecedented challenges as we adjust to new ways of working and Perennial is determined to remain available and active for everyone we help.”
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Perennial, a UK charity concerned with helping professionals working in the horticulture industry, has a range of support services online and its advisers are available by phone, email or video call free of charge and in complete confidence. The online budgeting tool can be used to help understand finances and makes it simple to see what is coming in and out, with useful hints and tips to support you to adjust to changes in income. Perennial’s online mental health network, launched earlier this year in partnership with Big White Wall, can help everyone maintain their mental wellbeing.
Perennial’s team of professional caseworkers and debt advisers can help people understand and get access to government arrangements for financial support; help people make arrangements to reduce or delay bill payments, including credit debts where necessary; and provide financial assistance to cover essential items, particularly food and heating.
Perennial’s chief executive Peter Newman said: “In these unprecedented circumstances many people will be anxious about both the present and the future. For 180 years Perennial has stood alongside people in horticulture and our unswerving determination is to continue to be available to help through these difficult days.”
Over the last few days Perennial’s whole workforce has responded to the evolving government guidance and will continue to monitor daily updates and promote the clear home-working, self-isolation and social distancing guidelines. The charity's gardens at York Gate near Leeds and Fullers Mill near Bury St Edmunds will not now open as planned, and all volunteer activity has been suspended until further notice.
“The focus of the whole Perennial team is now on meeting the practical and social needs of people in horticulture, as the entire country faces up to the COVID-19 challenge, and its aftermath,” added Newman.
Perennial’s team of advisers all work from home and are available for phone calls, emails and video calls. To keep up to date with new information as it emerges, follow Perennial on social media or sign up to the charity’s e-newsletters. Those affected can also get in touch 0800 093 8543 or visit www.perennial.org.uk/coronavirus for further information.