Gardeners help hospice care blossom

Sep 18, 2014

Gardeners and garden-lovers alike will show some green-fingered goodness by supporting hospices this summer, thanks to the longstanding partnership between Help the Hospices and the National Gardens Scheme.

The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) has supported Help the Hospices - the UK’s leading hospice care charity - since 1997 and helped raise over £2.6 million for hospice care through its garden openings.

Under the scheme, private gardens are opened up to the public who donate a small entry fee and also buy refreshments and exclusive plants sold by the garden owners.

Today NGS today launches its Yellow Book for 2014- an annual publication that features details of its variety of gardens across the country.

The NGS has more than 3,800 scenic gardens located across England and Wales which members of the public are able to visit. They include gardens belonging to several of Help the Hospices member hospices.

St Peter’s Hospice in Bristol will open its spacious and tranquil gardens on 29 June and 6 July. While visitors in London can visit the historical gardens of Trinity Hospice in Clapham on 5-6 April and 2-3 August.

In addition, this year for the first time the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted will open its garden on 7 September which features pergolas, paved terraces, ponds, a peaceful oriental healing garden and a sensory garden.

Gardens and horticulture play an important role in hospices, providing a peaceful location for rest and reflection for thousands of terminally ill people and their families. They are often used as informal locations for bereavement support for a patient’s loved ones.

In addition, day care programmes often incorporate gardening or horticultural therapy into their programmes as they encourage patients to interact socially, swap memories and learn new skills. Modern hospices usually have patient rooms with garden views, in recognition of their value in promoting emotional wellbeing.

David Praill, Chief Executive of Help the Hospices, said:

"We are very grateful for the incredible generosity of NGS volunteers in opening up their gardens to the public and of the many people who visit these, they both help generate valuable funds for hospice care.

"Horticulture has long been a feature of hospices and is important in promoting patient wellbeing so it is wonderful that so many people support our work in this way.

"Demand for hospice care is set to rise rapidly over the next decade due to the UK’s rapidly ageing population. This vital funding will help enable hospices to continue to provide the person-centred, compassionate care for which they are renowned."

Notes to Editor

  • Help the Hospices is the UK’s leading charity for hospice care which supports and champions the work of 219 hospices across the UK.
  • Hospices provide vital care for people with terminal illnesses and life-limiting conditions and also support their families and carers.
  • Operating since 1927, the NGS has raised more than £35 million for charities by through donations from 750,000 visitors each year who visit its gardens.
  • Over the years the NGS, which is the largest funder of Help the Hospices’ work, has supported different areas of the charity’s programmes including training for hospice staff, equipment for delivering hospice care at home and national projects supporting clinical excellence.
  • To find your nearest NGS garden visit:
  • Copies of the Yellow Book 2014 can be obtained from the NGS website  

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