Scotlands Gardens Scheme made a recent donation of £37,000 to Perennial, which will allow the charity to help even more horticulturists in Scotland whose lives have reached crisis point. The donation will cover 45% of Perennial’s annual costs in Scotland, including paying for a dedicated Senior Caseworker. Perennial and Scotlands Gardens Scheme are coming together to exhibit at Gardening Scotland (2nd – 4th June), celebrating their partnership which goes back to 1970.
Perennial is the only UK charity that exists to help horticulturists and their families during their most difficult times and support them as they rebuild their lives. Scotlands Gardens Scheme makes a huge difference to the work of the Perennial, helping to keep its team of Caseworkers and Debt Advisers in action. Perennial will continue to benefit from donations made by the garden loving public visiting any of the almost 500 gardens throughout Scotland open through the scheme during 2017.
Perennial offers a lifeline to people facing tough times caused by life’s unexpected challenges. People like Martin Crowley and Amber Goudy, who live near Oban with their children. When Martin was struck down with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare auto-immune disease, he was signed off work for three years. Barely able to walk, he could only watch as the family landscaping business, which he ran with his mother Morven, went under. When his mother came across Perennial’s stand at Gardening Scotland a few years ago, their luck began to turn around.
Martin says: “I had never been out of work, but when I became ill it never even occurred to me that I would get more than two or three days’ sick pay. The Perennial Caseworker was amazing and her input made all the difference in the world. She helped sort out my Disability Living Allowance and other benefits which I was entitled to. Without her help, we would have been destitute.”
With Perennial’s help, Martin got his life back on track and he and Amber now run a successful garden design business. In 2014, they designed and built The Perennial Garden at Gardening Scotland, which won Best in Show and a Gold Medal.
Beechgrove Garden presenter and Perennial Trustee, Carole Baxter will be visiting the stand on Saturday 3rd June. She comments: “The partnership with Scotland’s Gardens Scheme is very important to Perennial and helps us support hundreds of people who have nowhere else to turn. We would like to thank all of the many volunteers who open their gardens through the scheme to raise such a fantastic amount of money. Most clients only come to Perennial as a last port of call, but we want everyone in the industry to know that Perennial is there if they should ever need us and for as long as it takes.”
Terrill Dobson, National Organiser of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme comments: “Our charity was set up to raise funds for other worthwhile causes by encouraging people to visit Scotland’s beautiful and diverse gardens. We’re delighted to be helping Perennial as it offers fantastic grass roots support for horticultural professionals in real need.”
See the video of Martin’s personal story at: http://perennial.org.uk/home/ways-we-can-help/personal-stories/martins-story/
Find out more at www.perennial.org.uk