National Garden Scheme donation to Marie Curie backs future healthcare leaders

Categories: Education and Leadership.

A generous £47,575 donation from the National Garden Scheme is funding end of life charity Marie Curie’s leadership project for nurses and allied health professionals around the UK.

The National Garden Scheme Nightingale Programme has started for a second consecutive year, with 16 Marie Curie Nurses and Allied Health Professionals signed up. Delegates access leadership and development training culminating in a graduation in February 2023.

Inspired by The Nursing Now Challenge (formerly the Nightingale Challenge) the programme is unique at Marie Curie as it supports the next generation of healthcare leaders in palliative and end of life care.

Each delegate is assigned a mentor and learning is undertaken via workshops, action learning sets and regular shadowing opportunities. At the graduation in February 2023, each delegate will also share outcomes from their service development or workforce project.

Registered Nurse Brid McCarron from Belfast, age 31, is the youngest participant in the National Garden Scheme Nightingale Programme. She said: “I wanted to get involved because I knew it would benefit me and stand me in good stead as a nurse. My project will be around my interest in holistic patient care and how each health professional in the hospice can understand the person, not just them as a patient.”

Marie Curie has been a beneficiary of the National Garden Scheme for 26 years, receiving over £10million in funding, including a £525,000 donation this year alone. Money is raised entirely through volunteers opening their gardens to visitors in exchange for a charity donation. The National Garden Scheme is Marie Curie’s longest standing charity partner.

George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the National Garden Scheme says: “As part of our annual funding for Marie Curie, which we are proud to have given for more than 25 years, targeted support like this for the benefit of Marie Curie professionals is really important to us.

At a time of unprecedented workforce challenges throughout healthcare, giving these brilliant nurses and other professionals the leadership skills that empower and boost their careers has never been more vital.”

The National Garden Scheme Nightingale Programme is led by; Marie Curie Associate Director Strategic Partnerships & Services England and Place Based Innovation, Helen Forrow, Marie Curie Head of Talent and Development Geoff Speed and Marie Curie Deputy Director of Quality and Nursing, Jane Eades.

Jane Eades Marie Curie Deputy Director of Quality and Nursing, shares: “Nursing and Allied Health Professional roles are hugely rewarding at any level, but we’re always striving to do more to develop our people and give them opportunities step into leadership careers either in Marie Curie or onwards.

“Inspiring the next generation of nursing and allied health professional leaders is essential to ensure the sector has staff with the skills, knowledge and confidence to future-proof services.

By 2040 there are expected to be around 100,000 more people dying each year in the UK than in a current typical year.

Developing and retaining people in the face of increasing demand for palliative and end of life care is one way we can rise to meet this challenge.

“We are hugely grateful to the National Garden Scheme for funding such a vital programme.”


About The National Garden Scheme:


About Marie Curie
Marie Curie is the UK’s leading end of life charity. The charity provides essential nursing and hospice care for people with any terminal illness, a free support line and a wealth of information and support on all aspects of dying, death and bereavement. It is the largest charity funder of palliative and end of life care research in the UK. Marie Curie is committed to sharing its expertise to improve quality of care and ensuring that everyone has a good end of life experience. Marie Curie is calling for recognition and sustainable funding of end of life care and bereavement support.

Dying in Poverty campaign
Marie Curie is calling on the UK Government to grant working age people early access to their State Pension if they have a terminal illness, because nobody should die in poverty. The charity is also calling for greater support with energy costs to be made available to all terminally ill people, regardless of their age, and for more support with the costs of childcare for terminally ill parents with young children. If you believe that nobody should die in poverty sign Marie Curie’s petition calling for government action


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