Record National Garden Scheme donation to nursing and health charities

A mammoth £3,403,960 has been generated by the scheme through the incredible achievement of garden owners and volunteers hosting open days at 3,389 gardens in 2023.

National Garden Scheme beneficiary charity Maggy's Oxford

According to the National Garden Scheme (NGS), the lion’s share of £2,475,000 will go to the UK nursing and health charities, many of which have continued to provide vital support to the NHS and communities across the UK in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and who are now struggling to provide services in the new cost of living crisis. The long-term nature of funding from the National Garden Scheme allows these charities to continue the provision of critical community nursing services, end-of-life care and respite for families and carers across the UK.

Nursing and Health beneficiaries

  • Marie Curie £450,000
  • Macmillan Cancer Support £450,000
  • Hospice UK £450,000
  • The Queen’s Nursing Institute £425,000
  • Carers Trust £350,000
  • Parkinson’s UK £350,000

The NGS Chairman, Rupert Tyler said: “As the nation’s health and social care system continues to battle with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and with deeply embedded systemic challenges, the contribution of the charities that we support has been increasingly vital. Their reach and impact, in cancer and end of life care, in community health and nursing and in particular areas such as people living with Parkinson’s, is immense and we are proud to be a major long-term supporter of them all.”

The National Garden Scheme relies primarily on the income generated by admission at its garden gates and through the sale of plants, teas and cake. Additional income streams include fundraising events such as online talks, garden parties, and commercial partnerships.

NGS Chief Executive, George Plumptre said: “The enormous contribution by our garden owners and volunteers was added to by other fundraising activities in 2023. A special gala fundraising event at Broughton Grange in Oxfordshire raised over £41,000, and our fourth year of the Great British Garden Party, giving the opportunity for anyone – whether they open their garden or not – to have an event with friends or family and raise funds for the National Garden Scheme, generated £25,000.”

2023 also saw key funding milestones including half a million pounds donated to Horatio’s Garden and a pledge to provide a further three years of funding for horticultural related assistance for soldiers, veterans and their immediate families delivered through the Army Benevolent Fund.

“We know that the long-term continuity of our funding year on year is very unusual, and our beneficiaries have emphasised that this is a key quality in the support we are able to give to them. It is something of which we are enormously proud,” added George Plumptre. “By way of an example, 2024 will see us mark 40 years and over £19 million of funding for Macmillan Cancer Support.”

Gardens and Health beneficiaries

  • Maggie’s £100,000
  • Horatio’s Garden £90,000
  • Army Benevolent Fund £80,000
  • Mencap £50,000
  • Sue Ryder £40,660
  • Thrive £27,300

Support for gardeners:

  • English Heritage £125,000
  • Perennial £100,000
  • Professional Gardeners’ Trust £20,000
  • National Botanic Garden of Wales £26,000
  • Garden Museum £10,000
  • Support for Community Garden Projects: £281,000

The NGS is looking ahead to 2024 with optimism and the opening of over 3,500 gardens across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands. It will also see the charity return to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show with a show garden designed by Tom Stuart-Smith and fully funded by Project Giving Back.