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HTA Benevolent Fund

Charity no. 271129

The HTA Benevolent Fund cares for the welfare of members of the HTA, and their employees.

We help members including retailers, growers and landscapers who are facing hardship by providing modest grants and financial assistance. To be eligible for help, individuals need to work for a current HTA member. Or they need to have been employed by a business when it was an HTA member. As well as helping the individual we can also help their direct family. We also work closely with Perennial, Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Society, a horticultural charity which offers assistance and support to horticulturalists.

We can help members if they find themselves in need because of any of these situations:

  • Health concerns – For example health may suffer after an accident that prevents the ability to work and leads to financial hardship. Or, treatment may be required due to an illness which means it isn’t possible to work anymore and it is a challenge to make ends meet.
  • Disability – For example a physical impairment may affect mobility and the ability to work in a physically demanding job and lead to financial hardship. Or, a life changing accident that results in loss of income may require investment in new accommodation or equipment to aid a changed lifestyle.
  • Old age – For example limitations caused by old age such as mobility, ill health may lead to lack of independence requiring support to get out and about. Or, retirement and low pension may make it hard to keep up with home restoration and bills, greatly affecting standard of living and wellbeing.
  • Domestic issues – For example the breakdown of relationships or damage to/loss of the home may affect the ability to work and lead to financial hardship. Or, a dependant may be in need of care that cannot be afforded or that now needs to be provided personally by leaving work.
  • Bereavement – For example the death of a person in the family may impact on family living costs such as household bills, educational fees or unexpected charges that suddenly can’t be paid. Or, the running of a family business may be impacted and lead to difficulty in managing everyday dealings and supplier costs.
  • Financial hardship – For example bad weather such as flooding may damage equipment and lead to debt problems or make supplier costs and bills hard to manage. Or, depression may come as a result of difficult personal experience that make it hard to cope with working life.

If you are, or have been, an HTA member or employed by an HTA member business, and are facing hardship, we are here to help you.

You can be assured that your circumstance will be handled with due care and consideration by people you trust. It is our wish to provide you with the help and support you need in a timely manner and in strictest confidence. 

HTA Benevolent Fund case studies

An unfortunate combination of bad weather and poor health had seen John struggling to manage his family nursery business. After being hit by a severe storm, followed by a later flood, the family suffered a vast extent of damage to their main selling greenhouse. During this already highly stressful period John’s health also deteriorated after an accident. With limited financial income the family pulled together to run the business, but were unable to fully manage their supplier costs and loans taken out during the course of events. As an HTA member John was put in touch with the HTA Benevolent Fund by his HTA regional account manager, and through working with Perennial** support was quickly provided. The request came during the festive period and HTA Benevolent Fund was pleased to be able to provide John and his family with the help they needed in time for Christmas. As a result the family were financially and mentally supported through the hardship of winter and in preparation for the re-stock of spring. John is now looking forward to a more promising year.

John* - nursery business

Peter, groundsman and family man, had suffered with ill health for several years. With limited mobility and constant pain, Peter struggled to work and support his family. As a result a number of debts mounted up and in repaying these Peter had very little disposable income to afford to the care and support he needed. As a member of the HTA, via his previous employment, Peter approached HTA Benevolent Fund for help. Understanding that Peter would benefit greatly from medically approved furnishings around the home to ease his pain and provide comfort, HTA Benevolent Fund worked with Perennial** to assist him with the purchase of a new adjustable bed. Peter is now able to get a good night’s sleep and the rest that is essential to help control his condition.

Peter* - groundsman

For some time Brendon had suffered with ill health which affected his work and eventually led to him taking time off. While able to work part-time, unfortunately Brendon’s health meant that he was unable to resume his full time role. After losing much of his income and with his continued ill health, Brendon struggled to make ends meet. Having worked in the industry for over 30 years, for HTA garden retail members, Brendon approached the HTA Benevolent Fund and was eligible for support. Knowing that Brendon was determined to develop his own business and get back on his feet, the HTA Benevolent Fund was pleased able to support him with business and CPD related costs. Brendon is now in a better place to work toward his business goal.

Brendon* - retail business

Christine has worked at an HTA member garden centre for ten years. Sadly, recent years have seen her husband suffer from ill health and have to cut down his working hours which has reduced their total family income. With limited money coming in they found themselves having to take out several loans to cover existing bills. This later resulted in escalating debt to payday loan companies which took up all of their regular income. As a member of the HTA through her employer, Christine approached the HTA Benevolent Fund for help. She requested a loan to clear the escalating debt. The HTA Benevolent Fund was pleased to be able to agree to an interest free loan to be paid back over 2 years through comfortable monthly instalments. Christine is now relieved to be able to move forward positively now that her finances are under control.

Christine* - garden centre

Paul worked for an HTA member retailer for many years in a senior role with horticultural responsibilities. Later in life after leaving the role, Paul was diagnosed with multiple serious illnesses which forced him to retire for medical reasons. He was left severely disabled and housebound. As he is unable to work and reliant on upon benefits, Paul has limited income. He became in arrears with his household bill payments and so as a member of the HTA through his past employer, Paul approached the HTA Benevolent Fund for help. The HTA Benevolent Fund was pleased to be able to support Paul by paying off his household bills.

Paul* - retail business

*Name has been changed to protect client confidentiality. 
**Perennial, Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Society, is a horticultural charity which visits and offers assistance and support to horticulturalists as well as financial help.

If you need help please write to the board of Trustees at:
The Administrator, HTA Benevolent Fund
Horticulture House
OX11 0RN

For more information on our service please read our leaflet here, or email or phone 0333 003 3550.