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In the UK many Quiet Garden users and hosts will be familiar with the National Garden Scheme (NGS) through which many private gardens open their doors to the public for one or two days a year to raise money for charities. We were delighted in when the NGS commissioned a report from The King’s Fund to highlight the health benefits of gardens, and subsequently launched an annual week dedicated to promoting the positive impact gardens can have on health and wellbeing.
This year the Gardens and Health Week will take place during 18-24 August 2018 and will include around one hundred NGS gardens that will open mainly on one day in the week, some of them hosting groups of visitors organised by nursing charities. The gardens taking part will be open free for people who would not usually get the opportunity to enjoy a garden, or for whom garden visiting is not always possible, either because of health or social reasons.
George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the National Garden Scheme, told us, “The idea for a Gardens and Health Week came from our NGS garden owners, who open their gardens to raise money for our beneficiaries. After the launch of The King’s Fund report Gardens and Health: Recommendations for Policy and Practise; that we commissioned in 2016, many of them said how much they wanted to get involved with our initiative, to share their own experiences and to offer their gardens to visitors. This will be our second Gardens and Health Week in August, following the success of last year’s when many people visited a garden for the first time ever.”
Quiet Garden Hosts that are interested in being part of the week will need to invite a group of your own choice on one day during the week of 18-24 August. The group can come from anywhere, it could be a group of friends, of local schoolchildren or, indeed, a group from a local care home or organised by a local charity. This means that everyone wishing to take part is organising their own group. Once you tell the NGS they will inform all of their beneficiary charities which gardens are taking part, and if they wish to organise a group to visit a particular garden they can do that as well. You will have the option of opting out of a beneficiary group if you so wish.
The important principle will be that, we will not be charging any admissions; the event is to highlight the benefits of spending time in a garden, not to fundraise. Of course, if you offer teas or other refreshments you should charge for those and we will distribute collection tubs to all who want them.
We are confident it will be an enjoyable and rewarding event and are delighted that a number of our beneficiaries with gardens: hospices, Maggie’s centres and Horatio’s Garden, are all going to take part as well. To register your event and for further details please email Matt Freer and Tina Napier at NGS.
If you would like to find out more about the NGS Gardens and Health week and read the report visit their website at: www.ngs.org.uk/gardens-and-health/
Key findings from the report: