Run, jump, climb and wade for HortAid this September

HortAid, Perennial's annual fundraising campaign, has raised over £80,000 so far in 2016.

Claire Vokins and Jamie Butterworth get muddy for Perennial. Image: Supplied
Claire Vokins and Jamie Butterworth get muddy for Perennial. Image: Supplied

From the Party for Perennial at Skyloft in January, to the recent Mazegarden open day in West Sussex, this year is shaping up to be a record breaker thanks to the growing support of people from across the industry for the only charity dedicated to helping working and retired horticulturists.

Perennial is hoping the total will be significantly increased during the first two weeks in September when horticulturists and all those who love gardens and gardening are asked to #GetGoing for HortAid, which builds on the success of Go Green for HortAid held over the past two years.

Fundraisers are encouraged to run, cycle, jump, climb, wade (through mud) or do whatever takes their fancy to raise much-needed funds for the charity either by joining an organised challenge, or by holding their own fundraising event.

The HortAid campaign provides a light-hearted way for supporters of Perennial to join forces to fundraise year-round whilst having some fun but the message behind the campaign is a more serious one, the charity explained in a statement.

"In the landscaping and horticulture industries where many workers have seasonal contracts or limited income, there can be a fine line between getting by and facing hardship.

"When you are struggling to make ends meet, any additional challenge such as ill health can tip you over the edge. Perennial is there to help all horticulturists and landscapers when times get tough."

More than 50 people have committed to take part in the Go Nuts for HortAid mudrun and more teams are joining every day. Perennial also still has places available for the London to Brighton cycle ride and the Three Peakers Ride Again: Snowdon to Lands End challenge team is in its final stages of training with an ambitious fundraising target of £50,000.

Chris Crooker, events manager at Perennial, said: "Our supporters have raised a life-changing amount of money already this year that will help us keep Perennial's UK-wide network of professional Caseworkers on the road, providing one-to-one help to those who need it most.

"But we are ambitious for this charity and the important safety net it provides the horticulture industry and look forward to supporting many more people over the next few weeks and months to raise even more for HortAid."

WHERE THE MONEY GOES

• £1,000 will buy a new boiler for a family living without hot water or heating

• £750 pays removal fees for a client fleeing domestic violence

• £500 will help furnish a small flat for someone who was previously homeless

• £200 pays for 10 sessions at a nursery for a baby whose parent is critically ill

• £150 will pay for a TV licence for a client whose only companion is the TV

• £50 will pay for a care alarm to be installed for an elderly or disabled client

• £25 pays for a new school uniform for the child of someone struggling to make ends meet.

Anita Bates, director of marketing and development at Perennial, said: "Every day we are surprised and delighted by the lengths that supporters will go to in order to support colleagues and friends across the industry. We hope that more people than ever will join us for our Get Going for HortAid fortnight this year either by joining one of our organised events or by arranging their own fundraising.

"Every single pound raised for Perennial helps us to continue to support people in need and we cannot thank our supporters enough for the time and effort they put into making this one of the great horticultural institutions of the UK."

To find out more about and sign up to Go Nuts for HortAid or any of the other HortAid challenge events, visit www.hortaid.org.uk, call Chris Crooker on 0800 093 8510 or email hortaid@perennial.org.uk.


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