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National Garden Scheme donates almost £3m despite 2020’s challenges

National Garden Scheme donates almost £3m despite 2020’s challenges

The National Garden Scheme has donated over £2.88m this year, despite the challenges of the pandemic and all of its gardens being closed during the lockdowns.

The lion’s share of £2,587,000.00 goes to nursing and health charities. The main beneficiaries were Macmillan Cancer Support (£425,000), Marie Curie (£425,000), Hospice UK (£425,000), Carers Trust (£340,000), The Queen’s Nursing Institute (£370,000), and Parkinson’s UK (£157,500), with guest charity Mind receiving £80,000.  

Gardens and health beneficiaries included Horatio’s Garden, Maggie’s, The Patchworking Garden Project, and ABF The Soldier’s Charity, while gardeners received support through donations going to charities including Perennial, WRAGS, and the Professional Gardeners’ Trust.

£97,210 was also 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. 

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 can 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 

Normally, funds from the previous year’s garden income are distributed to beneficiaries in the spring of a current year but the impact of the pandemic and closure of all National Garden Scheme gardens during the first lockdown meant this spring’s donations were affected.

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.

“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 this spring. 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.”


Main image: NGS garden The Old Rectory, Farnborough.

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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