National Garden Scheme donations to nursing and health charities provide critical support in year of crisis

Image: Horatio’s Garden Salisbury © Russell Sach


PRESS RELEASE – November 20, 2020


Despite the challenges created by the pandemic and the closure of all its gardens during both lockdowns, the National Garden Scheme today announced donations totalling £2,884,710.00. The lion’s share – £2,587,000.00* – goes to the nursing and health beneficiary charities without which the NHS would have struggled during the coronavirus crisis.

National Garden Scheme Chief Executive, George Plumptre said: “Following a year full of challenges and uncertainty we are delighted to be able to announce a second tranche of funding to support our beneficiaries bringing the total we’ve donated in 2020 to almost £3 million.”

Normally, funds from the previous year’s garden income are distributed to beneficiaries in the spring of a current year, but the closure of all National Garden Scheme gardens during the first lockdown had an impact that reached into every part of the Scheme’s activities, not least the donations to its beneficiary charities.

George Plumptre explains: “We were forced to retain funds instead of donating them, with only a small group of beneficiaries paid in full in April, others getting 50% and Macmillan Cancer Support and Marie Curie receiving no donation at that time.”

“In this unprecedented situation we must put on record our thanks for the extraordinarily supportive and understanding response we got from all beneficiaries when we imparted the depressing news. Most are charities who, at that time, were being expected to maintain services on the front line of the pandemic whilst the sources of funds that supported them were being drastically reduced. Their response has been heroic.”

The latest announcement means that the following donations have now been made in 2020:

Main beneficiaries:

Macmillan Cancer Support £425,000

Marie Curie £425,000 

Hospice UK £425,000 

Carers Trust £340,000 

The Queen’s Nursing Institute £370,000 

Parkinson’s UK £157,500 

Guest charity: 

Mind £80,000 

Gardens and Health beneficiaries: 

Horatio’s Garden £75,000 

Maggie’s £100,000 

The Patchworking Garden Project £20,000 

Greenfingers garden at St Oswald’s £15,000 

Well Halton £75,000 

ABF The Soldier’s Charity £80,000 

Support for gardeners: 

Perennial £85,000  

WRAGS £65,000 

National Botanic Garden of Wales £20,000 

Professional Gardeners’ Trust £20,000 

Garden Museum £10,000 

Community gardening projects: 

£97,210 was allocated to 44 projects in 2020 under the Community Gardens Award scheme, but because of Covid-19 some will not take up their donations until 2021. The funding supports community allotments and gardens, rehabilitation and regeneration projects, as well as gardens designed to support mental health and wellbeing, and training and development for young people. 

*£2,587,000.00 – the total donated to nursing and health beneficiaries is made up of nursing and health, gardens and health and guest beneficiaries.


The impact of National Garden Scheme donations

Despite the challenges, this year’s National Garden Scheme Impact Report – released alongside this donation news – is full of positive updates. Donations made this year by the National Garden Scheme mean that:

  • 158 hospices across the UK were supported with the supply of PPE to protect frontline staff during the pandemic 
  • 300 additional people living with Parkinson’s are able to access the support they need to manage their condition 
  • 18,310 unpaid carers have been supported by funding to Carers Trust 
  • Maggie’s cancer centre in Southampton opened and will provide support to 20,000 visits a year 
  • Horatio’s Garden at the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore opened in September 
  • 150 people and their families who contacted Perennial for support received their own dedicated caseworkers who worked with them for as long as they needed help 
  • 1,420 Queen’s Nurses have been supported 

The full Impact Report 2020 can be accessed here:
National Garden Scheme Impact Report 2020

For a printable version click here Impact Report 2020 print version

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Our donations in 2023

Donor 1
Donor 2 £450,000
Donor 3 £450,000
Donor 4 £450,000
Donor 5 £425,000
Donor 6 £350,000
Donor 7 £350,000
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Donor 9 £100,000
Donor 10 £90,000
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