8 February 2008
More than £2 million was raised in 2007 for cancer, caring and gardening charities through The National Gardens Scheme's book sales, garden admission charges and tea, cake and plant sales. At the Royal Festival Hall on Tuesday (5 February 2008) two of the main charities, Marie Curie Cancer Care and Macmillan Cancer Support, were presented with a cheque for £500,000 each.
The NGS proudly stands as Macmillan's biggest single donor, funding 130 different services, from nursing posts and financial advice to physiotherapy and counselling. Over the last 23 years over £11 million has been donated by the scheme. And in 2007 the money raised funded a Macmillan benefits advisor in Walsall, a specialist cancer physiotherapist in Swansea and the creation of a new cancer centre in Crewe, Cheshire.
Ciarán Devane, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said: "We are extremely grateful to the NGS for their continued support. The NGS is an excellent organisation offering the public the opportunity to enjoy some of the most beautiful gardens in the UK, whist raising valuable funds for charity. The money we have received will fund key services in the community providing practical, emotional and financial support for people affected by cancer".
Donations from the NGS to Marie Curie Cancer Care has provided funding for more than eight Marie Curie Nurses in eight patients' homes every night. Over the last 11 years the NGS has funded care for more than 4,600 cancer patients.
Thomas Hughes-Hallett, Chief Executive, Marie Curie Cancer Care, added: "The National Gardens Scheme gives Marie Curie Cancer Care one of its largest annual donations, and we are very proud of their support of over a decade. Across that period an amazing £3.2 million has been donated to the Marie Curie Nursing Service in England and Wales. I'd like to thank each and every one of the huge number of people who take part and assist in the scheme's amazing success. Thanks to the generosity of the National Gardens Scheme we have been able to offer many more patients the choice to end their days where they would choose – supported by a Marie Curie Nurse in their own home with their loved ones close by. I can think of few more enjoyable ways to support charities than by visiting some of the spectacular private gardens offered as part of the scheme - I wish them every continuing success with their work."
Since its launch in 1927 the NGS has raised almost £40 million for a number of charities, £22 million in the last 10 years. Donations are 'unrestricted' which means money can be invested in areas which the beneficiaries consider vital to future development, and which might be difficult to fund from other sources. Other charities which benefit from funding from the NGS include:
Crossroads - Caring for Carers: The major annual donations from the NGS helps to support carers and their families, who often feel the enormous pressures of juggling busy lives while providing support for their relative, partner or friend. With the support of the NGS, Crossroads is better equipped to meet the individual needs of each carer and the person they are caring for.
Help the Hospices: The NGS has been funding the charity since 1997 and is now one of its biggest regular supporters. Money raised by the scheme has supported the training of over 1,400 hospice nurses, helping them gain new specialist skills and qualifications and enabling them to give the best possible care for patients with terminal illness, along with their families and friends.
The Queen's Nursing Institute: Maintaining the long standing tradition of funding nursing care through the Queen's Nursing Institute, the NGS continues to raise funds for the recruitment, training and employment of community nurses as well as providing practical and emotional support for retired community nurses.
The Royal Fund for Gardeners' Children: Aims to raise funds to help the orphans of horticulturists by giving them regular allowances or making grants for special purposes.
Perennial – Gardeners' Royal Benevolent Society: Helps those who work or have worked in horticulture when they face adversity by providing money and services, but most of all by ensuring people get the help they need from government departments and the public and private organisations that are there to assist.
NGS Gardeners' Careership (the National Trust): In recent years the NGS has donated around £190,000 annually to support The National Trust's three year training scheme, which provides a much needed pool of qualified gardeners equipped with an understanding of historic gardens and the specialist skills to care for them. It costs around £50,000 to put each student through the course which is a huge financial commitment, so training gardeners to this level would not be possible with out the support of the NGS.
For more information about the NGS or its beneficiary charities please visit www.ngs.org.uk or call the NGS Head Office on 01483 211535.
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