Despite the ongoing restrictions and uncertainty that continued throughout the early months of 2021, severely curtailing garden opening activities, the National Garden Scheme has today announced donations of over £3 million to its beneficiary charities. The total of £3,030,272 is only slightly lower than the pre-pandemic donation made in 2019.
The lion’s share, £2,557,500, goes to some of the UK’s best-loved nursing and health charities, many of which have provided vital support to the NHS and communities across the UK throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. National Garden Scheme funding has allowed these charities to continue the provision of critical services.
The National Garden Scheme relies primarily on the income generated by admissions at its garden gates and through the sale of plants, tea and cakes. In 2021, the donations amounted to 90% of funds raised in gardens being shared with beneficiaries. Additional income streams include fundraising events such as online talks, garden parties, and commercial partnerships.
Commenting on these activities, Chief Executive George Plumptre said: “The enormous contribution by our garden owners and volunteers was added to by other fundraising activities. Some, such as our series of online talks which raised £40,000 in ticket sales, were born out of the restrictions of the pandemic; they have introduced us to new audiences at home and abroad with whom we look forward to staying in touch.”
2021 also saw the National Garden Scheme celebrate 25 years of continued partnership and over £20 million of combined donations to three of its beneficiaries – Marie Curie, Hospice UK and Carers Trust.
The National Garden Scheme is looking ahead to 2022 with optimism and with the prospect of exciting expansion.
Community Gardens Award applications open
The National Garden Scheme has reopened applications for its popular Community Gardens Award programme after a year’s break caused by the pandemic.
“We’re delighted to be offering our Community Gardens Award grants again,” George Plumptre added. “These hugely popular grants provide funding to amateur gardeners from community groups in England and Wales to create a garden or similar project with a horticultural focus for the benefit of the local community or charitable group. The aim should be to bring a community together by creating or developing a space that people can share, by the acquisition and sharing of gardening knowledge and skills, and by inspiring a love of gardening.”
In 2020, 44 grants totalling over £97,000 were awarded supporting 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.
Submissions close 28th February 2022 and applicants will be notified of the results in April 2022. For more details and an application form visit www.ngs.org.uk/cga-application.