Richard Capewell bows out after two decades and many changes

Richard Capewell will retire as CEO of Perennial next Spring

Richard Capewell, chief executive of horticultural charity Perennial, has announced he will retire in spring 2017, after nearly two decades in the role.

Richard joined Perennial from Mencap in 1999, since when he has broadened the charity from a Victorian benevolent fund for retired gardeners into an organisation offering support and advice to horticulturalists of all ages. He has also overseen the addition of two gardens to the Perennial portfolio: York Gate Garden, near Leeds, and Fullers Mill Garden in Suffolk. The charity will also take on the management of Sir Roy Strong’s Laskett Gardens in Herefordshire after the historian’s death.

Commenting on his long career at the helm, Richard said: ‘My background in social care and my interest in providing practical services to those who cannot, for one reason or another, represent themselves, has defined my time here at Perennial. I feel very proud to have overseen so many positive changes within the organisation, from establishing our free and confidential casework and debt advice service that annually sees an increase in clients, to ensuring all our services are available to all those who work in or are retired from horticulture.’

Perennial board of trustees chair Dougal Philip, added: ‘Richard has been a pleasure to work with. His commitment to ensuring Perennial relentlessly pursues its goal to deliver first-class services to those who need them most, has been the driving force of the organisation for nearly two decades. His legacy will be an industry that is much more aware of the charity dedicated to serving it and an organisation ready to take on the challenge of becoming bigger, better and more widespread in the future.’

Richard will continue as a trustee of Lantra (the land-based and environmental sector awards body) and with assorted voluntary work.

The charity is currently interviewing for Richard’s replacement and his successor will be announced in due course.

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