Queen’s Nurse Vanessa Hurley has opened her garden in Dawlish, Devon, for the National Garden Scheme for the first time this year and raised the incredible total of £1845. Her original target for the two-day opening was just £500.

The National Garden Scheme opens beautiful private gardens to the public every year to raise money for nursing and caring charities, including The Queen’s Nursing Institute.

Vanessa Hurley QN is a learning disability nurse specialist who provides support to people in her local community in Devon. She had originally planned to open her garden in 2020 but had to cancel due to the pandemic.

We had queues outside the gate and queues for cakes. We had loads of cakes made by all my friends which were fabulous. We knitted scarecrows for sale and sold plants and local honey; some of the plants came from the Dawlish Garden Trust which employs people with a learning disability.

A few days beforehand, we had help from residents from a local care home for people with a learning disability whom we paid to help us and provided lunch, so it was a great day. I also had help from one of the gentlemen I support in the community who really enjoyed the two open days - he met loads of people and loved it. 

It was a real community effort: there were 12 of us helping on each day, which was definitely needed!

Vanessa Hurley QN

I am absolutely delighted that Vanessa’s first garden opening was such a huge success. The funds raised for the National Garden Scheme are vital to support nursing and caring charities in the UK, including the QNI and our Queen’s Nurse programme. Queen’s Nurse are delivering excellent care to people of all ages in communities everywhere and the funding we receive from the National Garden Scheme makes a huge difference to people in need.

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, QNI Chief Executive
Vanessa's beautiful garden

Among those assisting Vanessa were fellow Queen’s Nurses Katy Welsh and Helen Palmer.

Vanessa Hurley was featured on the National Garden Scheme website this year as part of its Gardens and Health Week. Read more here: https://ngs.org.uk/vanessas-story-nurse-first-gardener-for-life/


 Notes to Editors

The National Garden Scheme was originally founded by the QNI in 1927, when one of its Council members, Elsie Wagg MBE, first had the idea of opening private gardens to the public to raise funds to support community nursing services.

The National Garden Scheme opens beautiful private gardens and raises millions for nursing and health charities. To find out how you can become involved and find gardens open near you, go to www.ngs.org.uk

The Queen’s Nursing Institute, founded in 1887, offers a wide range of support to all nurses in the community in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, helping them to deliver care to all those who need it, in the home and community. For more information visit: www.qni.org.uk

People socialising in a garden The plant sale

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