Perennial, the charity for people working in, or retired from, the horticulture industry, has launched a free physiotherapy service available to people working in horticulture. Following a trial period, the service, delivered in partnership with leading community services healthcare provider Connect Health, will help to build better futures for people in horticulture and their families.
The biggest issue facing people in horticulture is back and joint pain (according to the Perennial Health & Wellbeing Survey 2021*). In fact, 78% experienced aches and pains in the 6 weeks prior to completing the survey and 38% of people said they don’t seek help when something isn’t right with their body. This issue is compounded further as 27% of people have worked whilst physically or mentally unfit in the last 12 months.
The charity is encouraging anyone in the sector experiencing aches and pains to contact the Perennial helpline where a referral to the free physiotherapy service can be arranged subject to qualifying criteria. By encouraging people to get help early, Perennial hopes to improve the physical wellbeing of those in the industry which can also impact other areas of life including the ability to work, and ultimately personal finances.
Once referred, the individual will receive a 30-minute initial consultation with a qualified physio via Connect Health’s PhysioLine service. The physio will then create a treatment plan for that individual, which could be carried out via the PhysioLine service or through face-to-face appointments.
Musculoskeletal disorders are the second biggest cause of sickness days recorded, after coughs and cold according to the charity Versus Arthritis. As many as 1 in 4 people experience a muscular skeletal condition. Perennial estimates 75,000 people in horticulture have or will develop a condition.
Musculoskeletal conditions impact:
- Joints, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gout, ankylosing spondylitis;
- bones, such as osteoporosis, osteopenia and associated fragility fractures, traumatic fractures;
- muscles, such as sarcopenia;
Perennial can also assist with financial support, benefits and debt advice, training and career support, mental health and wellbeing support, a legal helpline and support for families. As well as its range of frontline support services, Perennial provides services and information to help prevent people getting into deeper difficulty. If anyone working directly with plants, trees, flowers or grass has a problem, however large or small, they can pick up the phone to Perennial and know that the charity will make sure they receive the support they need – for themselves and their family.
The team understands the devastating impact of bereavement, ill health, homelessness, redundancy and family breakdown and appreciates that anyone can experience financial, mental and physical health difficulties. Life’s challenges can be overwhelming, but Perennial is always on hand to provide guidance and support.
Perennial is the safety net for people in the horticulture industry and is here to help individuals working in, or retired from any job involving trees, plants, flowers or grass. Perennial’s help and support is free and confidential. The helpline is available on 0800 093 8543 and you can also visit perennial.org.uk/help to find out more.
*Perennial Health & Wellbeing Survey 2021 was carried out between May and July 2021 and surveyed over 900 people in the horticulture industry.