The Groundsman

January 2014

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Page 34 of 51

CHARITY PROFILE 35 the Groundsman January 2014 Most importantly, caseworkers are able to work with an individual for as long as necessary, to either solve their problem or until the best possible outcome has been achieved. Established in 1839 by a group of wealthy landowners who wished to provide for their long-serving head gardeners in retirement, the Gardeners' Benevolent Institution began life as a pension fund. It soon attracted the attention of Victorian high society, who willingly supported the fund with annual donations and appearances at its annual fundraising dinner. Charles Dickens famously said at the ninth annual event: "I hope the day will come when every gardener in England will be a member of the charity." Perennial, as the same Institution is now known, still helps gardeners across the UK in retirement and has extended its reach to all professionals working in and retired from horticulture and their families. But Dickens' dream is yet to be a reality – there are an estimated 500,000 people working in horticulture in the UK but only a fraction of those are actively involved with the charity. Richard Capewell, chief executive of Perennial, said: "The work of Perennial – which is often described by those we " The work of Perennial – which is often described by those we help simply as a 'lifeline' – is needed now more than it ever was " help simply as a 'lifeline' – is needed now more than it ever was. The economic pressures on low-paid horticulturists too often result in debilitating stress. A high rate of injury, and subsequent long-term leave of absences, means that many workers in our industry struggle to make ends meet. We'd like to be able to help even more people this year and are looking for industry support to make our 175 birthday a really special one." There are lots of ways you can help Perennial raise its target of £175,000 this year. Why not make a regular donation or join the Perennial 'Friends' scheme? Or get together with a group of colleagues and decide on a group challenge to raise some serious money. l You can find out more by visiting or call 0845 676 0636 Perennial provides a helping hand A rare chance to own this classic car and raise money for Perennial MG Midget Racing Green 1971 – tax exempt, classic car insurance, virtually original condition, 65,663 miles, 12 months MOT. Original steering wheel and interior in very good condition. Donated by a beneficiary of Perennial to raise money for Perennial and the Roy Castle Lung Foundation. If you wish to make a bid, call Jo Ayley on 01372 384036 or 07747 804662 or email Visit for more information and digital editions

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