Taking on the Great Wall

Anita in Tilley hat

Laura, hill walking

Two members of the Perennial marketing and fundraising team are taking on the challenge of a lifetime as they prepare to tackle one of the Seven Wonders of the World – The Great Wall of China.

Anita Bates and Laura Garnett have been colleagues since 2012, and this will be the first fundraising challenge for Perennial they have attempted together. Their journey across China will take in around 70 miles of the Great Wall from Huangyauan to Beijing, amounting to approximately 32 hours of trekking. While undoubtedly physically and emotionally gruelling, the trip also promises to be incredibly uplifting as the pair will experience stunning scenery, the celebrated generosity of their hosts and the comradery of their fellow fundraisers, all on a mission to make a difference to the people Perennial helps.
Anita Bates, Director of Marketing & Fundraising, at Perennial says: “We can no longer pretend this isn’t happening and despite hours of training walks neither Laura or I quite feel prepared for the epic challenge ahead of us. One of my main worries is the thought of saying goodbye to my daughters. It’s the first time I have been away from them for so long. But the reason for walking the wall remains steadfast in our thoughts and we know the generosity of our sponsors and supporters will keep us going. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far – your support will allow Perennial to continue to help people who are in desperate need of a listening ear or a steady hand to guide them through the worst of times. It’s what we’re here for after all.”

Perennial is the only charity in the UK dedicated to helping all those who work in horticulture who are facing tough times. For almost 180 years, Perennial has offered advice and support to working or retired horticulturists and their families, who may be facing a period of difficulty and who need a helping hand. Perennial relies on the support of the UK horticulture industry and all those who love gardens and gardening to continue providing free confidential advice and support. Challenges such as the Great Wall of China Trek allow Perennial to plan and maintain services into the future, as well as helping to spread the word about how Perennial helps people.

Laura Garnett, Senior Development Manager at Perennial, says: “I have not hidden the fact that I am absolutely terrified about the challenge ahead of me. It will be the hardest thing I have ever done, and the only thing keeping me going will be the thought that the money we have raised will help transform someone’s life. We often share personal stories from people Perennial has helped but for me it’s the thought of those we weren’t able to get to in time that is driving me on. We’d love to reach our target of £6,000 during the challenge so if you can, please dig deep and donate to Perennial today.”

Several notable companies and businesses have already supported the trekkers with both donations and equipment. Tilley Hats, well-loved throughout the horticulture industry, have donated hats to both Anita and Laura and Tilley Hats are now available to purchase on the Perennial online shop here. (A free gift worth over £10 is available with every hat purchased from 14th – 21st September.)

Generous financial donations have been received from ICL Horticulture, Hardy’s Cottage Garden Plants and Bloom PR & Communications but the pair need another £1,500 to beat their target.

You can follow Anita and Laura’s progress via the Perennial Twitter and Facebook pages. You can donate to their challenge here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lauraandanita