Applications are being sought for the NGS Elsie Wagg (Innovation) Scholarship 2024, which seeks to promote health and wellbeing through gardens and garden visiting.

The scholarship will be awarded to five projects – led by nurses – that promote the health benefits of gardening and garden visiting among a group of people.

The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) and the National Garden Scheme created the scholarship in 2021 as a joint initiative to support practical examples of how gardens can promote physical, mental and emotional health.

Successful projects will begin early in 2024. Project leaders will receive a year-long programme of individual and group support from the QNI, as well as funding of up to £5000 to implement their project.

The NGS Elsie Wagg (Innovation) Scholarship is open to all nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and Channel Islands.

Dr Amanda Young, Director of Nursing Programmes (Innovation and Policy) at the QNI commented:

“This is an exciting opportunity to demonstrate the impact of novel nursing interventions in the community. It is anticipated that the NGS Elsie Wagg (Innovation) Scholarship will over time, contribute significantly to the evidence base around the value of gardens and gardening to the physical, mental and emotional health of individuals and communities. We warmly encourage any community nurse to contact us to discuss their ideas and apply.

The closing date for completed applications is 5 pm on 6th November 2023.



The QNI has a long track record of supporting nurses to develop their own ideas to improve the nursing of people in the community. Examples of potential gardens and health projects include:

  • A General Practice Nurse working with colleagues and individuals to create or improve a flower/herb garden at a GP Surgery;
  • A Community Learning Disability Nurse organising visits to National Garden Scheme gardens for individuals and/or groups of service users, family members and volunteers;
  • A Community Mental Health Nurse working with colleagues to support service users to access gardening and garden visiting as part of therapy;
  • A Care Home Nurse working with residents and families to develop a sensory garden at their home and encouraging residents to participate in the planning and to share stories and memories about plants and gardens;
  • A Prison Nurse working with people in prison and colleagues to create or improve a prison fruit and vegetable garden.

For an initial discussion, please contact Dr Amanda Young: amanda.young@qni.org.uk.


Elsie Wagg MBE (1876-1949)

The scholarship is named after Elsie Wagg MBE, the QNI council member who originally had the idea to open gardens to raise funds for the charity, which led to the creation of the National Garden Scheme in 1927.

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