Read the first part in Perennials guest blog series.

London Stone are a Platinum Partner of Perennial, as such we feel it is important to help spread their message. We have invited Kate Cooney and her colleagues at Perennial to write a guest blog for us. This is the first in the series from Kate.

About Perennial

Perennial is the only charity in the UK dedicated to helping people who work in horticulture (including hard and soft landscapers, garden designers and Landscape Architects) and their families, when they find themselves in need. Founded over 182 years ago, Perennial provides free and confidential advice and support to people of all ages working in, or retired from, horticulture.

Perennial are here to help those in the horticultural industry.

Perennial are there to help people across the horticultural industry. 

Perennial and Covid-19

It is an understatement to say that the last year has been challenging for the vast majority of people, including those who work in the horticulture industry in the UK, and I suspect that the true financial impact is yet to be realised. Uncertainty caused by the pandemic has led to unexpected loss of income, often hitting those already financially vulnerable as well as increasing pressure on people’s physical and mental health. Calls to our helpline increased by 400% during the first two weeks of lockdown and in 2020 we helped 27% more than the previous year.

With lockdown easing there are signs of hope for the year ahead, but the “legacy” that the pandemic has created will need to be managed and the number of people needing our help continues to grow.

How do Perennial keep up to date with the industry

Myself and my colleague Phil Swainston are Perennial’s Corporate Partnership Managers and its direct link into the industry—the eyes and ears, as it were. Perennial’s vision is that everyone in the industry knows about us, understands the help that they can receive from us and feels confident to get in touch should they, or their dependent families, ever need our help at any stage of their lives.

Listening and understanding Perennial provide well rounded support.

There to listen to issues facing the industry and understand how they can help.

To encourage this, we take part in trade shows, attend conferences and meet with businesses and trade associations, not only to present, but to listen and understand the specific issues facing the industry, that company or individual. Our role is about engaging with people and bringing them into the Perennial family. We all need to support each other and, for them to support us, people first need to understand the value of what we do.

About Kate

I first heard of Perennial several years ago via my baby brother, David Dodd, a landscaper, who gave me a Christmas present of Christmas Dinner for some retired gardeners, courtesy of Perennial.

Years later, after a career break raising my children, I return to recruitment and one of my first clients, by absolute coincidence, was Perennial. One day, I received a phone call from Anita Bates, Perennial’s Director of Marketing and Fundraising, to ask if I wanted to come in for a coffee and chat about a new role. I initially thought that they wanted me to help fill the vacancy; however, the rest, as they say, is history!

One of the first Perennial Partners I met was the London Stone team at Futurescape 2018. We were both exhibiting there, and I went to introduce myself to the team and was immediately invited to speak on behalf of Perennial a couple of days later at the launch party of their Surrey Showroom. I had only been with Perennial for a couple of weeks at that stage, so it was a real baptism of fire for me!

Perennial support the horticultural industry in several ways, including financial support, wellbeing, personal support and more.

Providing personal, financial, and COVID support. Helping with legal advise and metal wellbeing, as well as much more. 

Perennial and London Stone

Steve and the team are amazing Perennial supporters. London Stone are, not only one of Perennial’s Platinum Partners, but they fundraise for Perennial by generously sponsoring events and via their Landscape Specialist scheme, donating £5 each time a landscape specialist joins the free-of-charge scheme. In addition, by sharing our messages to their customers and industry associates, London Stone are directly helping Perennial work towards a time when everyone in the industry understands what Perennial does and feels confident to get in touch, should they need our help.

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about supporting your Trade Charity, please feel free to contact Kate Cooney on 01372 235433 or
For free and confidential advice on debt, benefits, housing, budgeting, accessing financial support, ill health, disability, physical and mental well-being, our legal helpline and training and careers, call 0800 093 8543

If you are not quite ready to have a conversation you can find out more at