Growing support for hospices in the country’s best gardens

Mar 18, 2016

The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) this week launches ‘Gardens to Visit’ (popularly known as The Yellow Book), the eagerly awaited annual publication detailing gardens that will be welcoming visitors and raising funds for charity in 2016, including Hospice UK.

The NGS has been supporting Hospice UK, the leading hospice care charity, since 1997 and is one of its most valued supporters. This is made possible thanks to keen gardeners opening up more than 3,800 spectacular outdoor spaces to the public who donate a small entry fee and also buy refreshments and exclusive plants sold by the garden owners.

Every year, the NGS supports a group of local and national charities. The NGS has announced that Hospice UK will receive an amazing £500,000 from garden openings last year. This takes the total of NGS donations to Hospice UK to a spectacular £4m.

This has allowed Hospice UK to deliver important training and development opportunities for hospice teams supporting people at the end of life across the UK, as well as ensuring that hospices are not short-changed by developments in national policy. In 2015 this included securing fairer VAT rules for hospices that will save hospices over £25m per year to put back into patient care.

Gardens have an important role in hospice care, providing a peaceful location for rest and reflection with many used as quiet places for bereavement support for a patient’s loved ones. Day care programmes also incorporate gardening or horticultural therapy into their activities as they encourage patients to spend time together, swap memories and learn new skills. Many modern hospices have patient rooms with garden views, in recognition of their value in promoting emotional wellbeing.

In 2016 eight hospices from the Isle of Man to Somerset will be opening their grounds to visitors at different points across the year. These are: Trinity Hospice in London, St Peter’s Hospice in Bristol, the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted – and for the first time – Richard House Children’s Hospice in London, Hospice Isle of Man, St Cuthbert’s Hospice in Durham, George Thomas Hospice Care in South Glamorgan and Butterfly Hospice in Lincolnshire.

Tracey Bleakley, chief executive of Hospice UK, said:

“Gardens have always been so important to hospices; they provide areas for quiet reflection and space for talking therapies, as well as promoting patient wellbeing.

“The fantastic support that the National Gardens Scheme has shown hospice care through its partnership with Hospice UK means that every garden in the Yellow Book becomes a garden for hospice care. Since 1997 this support has been vital to Hospice UK and those in need of hospice care across the country, and for that we are truly grateful.”

The NGS also supports the annual Hospice UK awards which highlight excellence, innovation and dedication in end of life care.

Notes to editors

  • Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice care and the only membership body for organisations providing hospice care. We support and champion the work of more than 200 of these organisations across the UK.
  • Hospices, and other organisations which provide hospice care, offer vital care for people with terminal or life-limiting conditions and also support their families and carers.
  • For further information about hospice care visit or follow us on Twitter @hospiceukPA.
  • Get all the latest news from the hospice and palliative care sector, as well as patient stories, on ehospice UK. This service is managed by Hospice UK. You can also follow ehospice news on Twitter @ehospicenews.

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