16 June 2014
The legacy of Macmillan Cancer Support founder, Douglas Macmillan is the inspiration for the Macmillan Legacy Garden at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show this year, which aims to promote the importance of gifts in wills.
Designed for the second year running by Edinburgh-based garden designer Becky Govier, who won a silver award at the Show last year, the Macmillan Legacy Garden is inspired by a vision of Castle Cary, Somerset, where Douglas Macmillan spent much of his life, while growing the charity into the success it is today.
Legacy donations, or gifts in wills, make up a third of Macmillan’s entire income, playing a vital role in ensuring the charity is able to provide support to people affected by cancer. The charity receives legacy gifts of all shapes and sizes from the conventional to the more imaginative. One of the most unusual donations the legacy team has received was in the form of a herd of beef steer, a donation which has been immortalised in this year’s garden in the form of a cow sculpture. Macmillan hopes that the garden will inspire people to think about their own legacy as well as the difference that gifts in wills can make to the lives of others.
Becky Govier, who has herself been affected by cancer, explained her vision and why Macmillan means so much to her. She said: “This year’s garden is highly thought provoking. We have been inspired by the spirit and ethos of Douglas Macmillan – he wanted advice and information to be provided to all people with cancer and voluntary nurses to attend to patients in their own homes. These ideas remain at the heart of Macmillan’s work today and are evoked in design touches such as the vintage bicycle, like one that would have been used by the first Macmillan nurses to visit patients and provide support to those in need.
“Nature and the outdoors have a great way of making people relax and become more open. Last year people from all walks of life came to visit the show garden and opened up about their experiences, telling us stories about how they, or their families, have been affected by cancer, it’s a real privilege to be able to inspire people to speak so freely, about something so personal.
“I discovered I had cancer at the age of 32, when, leaning on my hand, I felt a lump in my neck. My lifestyle was healthy and there was no family history, so it was shocking news when the doctor told me I had thyroid cancer. It was an unusual type of cancer, which didn’t respond to treatments like radiotherapy and chemotherapy, meaning that surgery was the only option.
“On my recovery, I re-evaluated my life and decided to work part-time at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and set up my own business. I wouldn’t be a garden designer now if it wasn’t for my diagnosis. I appreciate the work that Macmillan does even more now, and feel very privileged to be helping them grow their income by encouraging people to leave a legacy to Macmillan.”
There are currently 2m people are living with cancer in the UK – a number set to double by 2030. Without the necessary funding, helping people to reclaim their lives from cancer through medical, practical, financial or emotional support, will prove more of a challenge than ever.
Danielle Tanner, Macmillan Cancer Support Mass Planning Manager, said: “We hope that the theme of the Macmillan Legacy Garden this year will inspire visitors to think about leaving a legacy. Many people don’t realise that gifts in wills can be of any shape and size. Just £50 will pay for two hours of a Macmillan nurse’s time.”
“It is fitting that our founder, Douglas Macmillan, and the work done by our nurses and Macmillan Professionals since the charity was founded in 1911, are such an integral part of the Macmillan Legacy Garden this year and we look forward to sharing this vision with visitors to Hampton Court.”
To find out more about leaving a gift to Macmillan in your will call 0800 107 4448 or visit macmillan.org.uk/legacies
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Macmillan Cancer Support
When you have cancer, you don’t just worry about what will happen to your body, you worry about what will happen to your life. Whether it’s concerns about who you can talk to, planning for the extra costs or what to do about work, at Macmillan we understand how a cancer diagnosis can take over everything.
That’s why we’re here. We provide support that helps people take back control of their lives. But right now, we can’t reach everyone who needs us. We need your help to make sure that people affected by cancer get the support they need to face the toughest fight of their life. No one should face cancer alone, and with your support no one will.
To get involved, call 0300 1000 200 today. And please remember, we’re here for you too. If you’d like support, information or just to chat, call us free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk
About leaving a legacy to Macmillan
By leaving a gift to Macmillan, you’ll be helping us be there for even more people affected by cancer – including the people who matter to you, if they ever need us. So that no one has to face cancer alone.
For more details, call us free on 0800 107 4448 or email: email@example.com
You can also find more information online at macmillan.org.uk/legacies
About Becky Govier
Becky Govier is a garden designer, horticulturist and writer who runs Green Edge Garden Design, a successful garden design and maintenance business established in 2006 and based in Edinburgh.
Prior to establishing Green Edge Garden Design, Becky worked at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh for 13 years, helping to manage the living collections for seven years as well as raising support and generating income as a fundraiser for six years.
About the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
For additional information visit:
For media inquiries please contact:
David Alexander, Calacus PR on 07802-412424 or
Aby Hawker, Calacus PR on 07795-593706 or
Kourtney Shaw, Calacus PR on 07731-769269 or
Fundraising PR Manager, Macmillan Cancer Support
Tel: 020 7091 2429
Out of Hours Press Office: 07801 307068
Twitter: @catpia / @macmillancancer
Cancer is the toughest fight most of us will ever face. And the feelings of loneliness and isolation that so many people experience make it even harder. Now, more than ever, we need people like you to join our team and get involved. No one should face cancer alone. And with your support no one will.
Call 0300 1000 200 or visit macmillan.org.uk/getinvolved today.