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Celebration of 30 years of National Garden Scheme openings

2021 marked the 30th consecutive year of the garden opening under the auspices of the National Garden Scheme (NGS) . Throughout, the event has been in partnership with the congregation of St Mary Magdalene, Madingley have offered support in stewarding and in recent years prepared and served the delicious homemade teas in the church. The first opening on the 28 June 1992 welcomed 500 visitors, paying £1 admission, and raising £560. Thirty years on, this has risen to 8,500 visitors and £40,000 raised for the scheme's charities and our nominated charity Madingley Church Restoration Fund.

On 16 September, the NGS presented the Institute and Madingley Hall with a plaque commemorating the anniversary. This will be displayed at the entrance to the Walled Garden from the Top Car Park. We were delighted Susan Rawlings who as ICE Deputy Director and Warden of Madingley Hall set the original opening up (with some help from her young Head Gardener!) and Sue Baldwin, Madingley PPC Secretary who has prepared the church rota of stewards and organised the teas in the church were able to join us. Over the years it has become a joint community occasion and we are most appreciative of all the help and support from the village. Throughout, the respective garden teams have prepared the garden to look its best and supported the openings by multi-tasking from car parking, to plant sales to stewarding to answering garden questions. Institute colleagues have kindly donated their Sunday afternoons to support and help, whether providing 1st Aid Cover, taking admission money at the entrance gate or meeting, and chatting with visitors. To all, our heartfelt thanks and appreciation. One of the joys of participating with the NGS is the wonderful support from the national team at Hatchlands Park, Surrey, and the local Cambridgeshire county team of volunteers.

The NGS was founded in 1927 to raise money for District Nursing by opening gardens at a shilling a head. 94 years later, £60 million has been raised for nursing and health charities and in 2020 made a £2.8 million donation. These include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and the Queen's Nursing Institute. More recently the scheme has introduced its Gardens and Health programme to raise awareness of the physical and mental benefits of gardening reaching out to the community and so many deserving causes.

Please save the date for our opening next year which is Sunday 19 June 2022.

In the photo from left to right, Susan Rawlings, Richard Gant, Jenny Marks (NGS Cambridgeshire County Organiser), Dr Jim Gazzard and Pam Bullivant (NGS Deputy County Organiser).

Ngs Presentation