In the lead up to Christmas, Perennial, the charity helping people in horticulture, is launching an urgent appeal in response to the worst cost of living crisis seen in a generation. People in horticulture are on some of the lowest incomes in the UK and the impact of the crisis is being felt across the industry as we approach the festive period.
The charity is calling for donations to support its services and prevent people in horticulture from struggling emotionally and financially this season and beyond.
The pressures of Christmas combined with the strain of increased energy bills, interest rates and food costs are cause for concern. Circumstances will worsen still when winter hits and freezing temperatures slow the pace of work, leaving people with less money.
In anticipation of higher calls to its helpline and demand for its services this winter, Peter Newman, Perennial’s chief executive says: “After two years of pandemic and lockdowns, we emerged into 2022 only to encounter massive increases in energy costs along with hikes in interest rates and food costs. In the horticulture sector, where many are not well paid, people are under strain and we can see the evidence of this by the number of people contacting our helpline. We’re hearing from people on tight budgets, who are facing more than just a squeeze on their income. These are real people experiencing real difficulty. Worryingly, the worst is yet to come this winter when we must switch on our central heating, or not, as the case may be for some. Every year I am heartened by the generosity of our supporters. Please donate if you can.”
When a Hampshire-based landscaper called Perennial for help, its team at was able to talk through the situation and provide advice. He was struggling with significant business and personal debt and had suffered a mental health crisis. He says: “Perennial was there for me in my hour of need and may well have saved my life. It sounds dramatic, but their calm guidance at a time when my life was in turmoil massively helped me. I’m in a far better place now both financially and mentally. There’s a macho thing that you have to get on with it, but sometimes you just can’t, and you’ve got to share the load. I hope that my story will help others.”
This story echoes the lives of thousands of others who are also struggling.
You can help people in horticulture this season by making a donation online at justgiving.com/perennialchristmas2022
People in horticulture can call Perennial for support and advice on 0800 093 8543 or visit perennial.org.uk.