The National Garden Scheme grew from humble beginnings in the early 1900s supporting district nurses, to donating millions of pounds to nursing and health charities over 90 years later.
The scheme gives visitors unique access to over 3,600 interesting gardens, large and small, in England and Wales and thanks to the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors they were able to donate over £60 million in 2020 to the core beneficiaries including Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and The Queen’s Nursing Institute.
Although our event was cancelled last year, we were delighted to welcome visitors to the garden on 12th and 13th June. The sun shone all weekend which enabled visitors to sit in the courtyard and garden, admiring the planting and enjoying the ambience and delicious cream teas. Although the heat and a rather crucial football match probably deterred some visitors we raised a total of £283.55 to donate to the NGS. Details of all gardens in the area which are open during the summer months can be found at :can be found at:
We very much look forward to welcoming visitors again next year.
We have welcomed so many visitors, both regular and new, to our almshouse in recent years and have very much appreciated their support. Fortunately, despite the difficulties of the past year we hope to be opening our boardroom and garden for the National Trust's Heritage Open Days. The event this year is from 11th - 19th September and we will participating on Saturday and Sunday 11th/12th and 18th/19th.
The 425th anniversary of the signing of the hospital’s founding royal charter fell on 27 August 2019 and was celebrated by the residents with a fascinating guided tour of The Old Naval College in Greenwich. The party, headed by 92 year-old Alf Smith, who has lived at the hospital for the last 25 years, delved into the College’s many sights, from the bowling alley in the basement to the newly-restored magnificent Painted Hall. The wealth of history was vividly brought to life by the guide who combined a deep knowledge of site with a wry sense of humour.
Further events to mark the anniversary took place at the beginning of October, starting with a fund-raising dinner aboard HMS Victory, in Portsmouth. Over 90 guests enjoyed a meal that was a masterpiece of clever menu planning and improvisation necessitated by the lack of any cooking facilities on the flagship. Admiral Sir Alan Massey, a former Second Sea Lord, was the guest speaker and he adroitly knitted together his thoughts on the continuity of service exemplified by Sir John Hawkins Hospital, HMS Victory and the today’s Royal Navy. Guests left the ship in the teeth of an October squall but the weather failed to dampen or dim the memory of a splendid evening.
The year’s celebrations culminated at The Annual National Service for Seafarers, held in St Paul’s Cathedral on 9 October. The hospital shared the limelight with Greenwich Hospital Trust as the year’s featured charities in front of a congregation of 1,800, headed by the Lord Mayor of London and including senior figures from the Admiralty Board, Trinity House and maritime professions and charities. The service was a memorable experience for the residents and governors present and it was agreed that Sir John Hawkins Hospital was now primed to face whatever the next 425 years might bring..
10 June 1921 - 9 April 2021
It was with great sorrow that we learned today of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99. He dedicated his life to our country and he will be remembered for his unstinting lifelong support and devotion to Her Majesty The Queen.
Since the founding of the almshouse, The Lord High Admiral of the Navy has been our most high-ranking governor and until 2011, this role was held by Her Majesty The Queen.
On the occasion of his 90th birthday the Queen formally presented His Royal Highness Prince Philip with the title and office of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom. The Prince gave up a promising naval career for royal duty and the Queen's birthday gift was seen as an acknowledgement of his sacrifice. This photograph was taken on that occasion.