The National Garden Scheme (NGS) has a long history, it was founded in 1927 by The Queen’s Nursing Institute to raise money for district nurses. Ever since, it has given annual donations to nursing and health charities totalling over £60 million. It gives visitors unique, affordable access to over 3,500 exceptional private gardens in England and Wales and raises impressive amounts through admission charges and the sale of tea and of course cake.
Thanks to the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors, the NGS is the most significant charitable funder of nursing in the UK. As well as the Queen’s Nursing Institute, our beneficiaries include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK, Carers Trust and Parkinson’s UK.
The National Garden Scheme doesn’t just open beautiful gardens for charity – there is also a focus on the physical and mental health benefits of gardens too. Projects are funded which promote gardens and gardening as therapy, and in 2016 commissioned The Kings Fund report Gardens and Health. The Gardens and Coronavirus 2020: The importance of gardens and outdoor spaces during lockdown report was published in September 2020.
In 2021 the NGS celebrates 25 years of support for Marie Curie, Hospice UK and Carers Trust. Celebrations to mark these silver jubilee partnerships will take place throughout the year culminating in anniversary tea parties at hospice and National Garden Scheme gardens this summer.
Personally I can’t think of a better way to support such worthwhile charities. Visit the NGS website for further details of events across England and Wales.