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Support for today’s nurses in the name of Florence Nightingale

Nursing professionals from across the UK who find themselves in hardship are set to benefit from a generous gift from The Nightingale Fellowship.

The Nightingale Fellowship is the alumni association of nurses who trained in the Nightingale Training School of St Thomas’ Hospital, or one of its successor training schools. The Fellowship bears the name of nurse Florence Nightingale who founded the school in 1860.

The Fellowship, which supports the interests of its two and a half thousand ‘Nightingale’ nurse members worldwide, announced its decision to make the £1m donation, split evenly between two nursing charities, at its AGM on 12th May, the birthday of Florence Nightingale.

Gillian Prager, President of the Nightingale Fellowship, explained their decision, “We are delighted that, as a charity, we are able to extend our benevolence to all nurses in the United Kingdom, through Cavell Nurses’ Trust and the Guild of Nurses’ charitable fund. It is important that we look outwards to help those in need, just as Florence Nightingale did herself in a life of selfless dedication to others.”

Brenda Griffiths, Foundation Master and Chair of the Board Trustees of the Guild of Nurses reacted to the news,

"The Guild of Nurses is enormously grateful to the Nightingale Fellowship for their very generous donation and for the trust it has placed in us. This funding will enable the Guild of Nurses to build on the work of our profession’s rich history and offer benevolent support to nurses when and where it is needed through The Company of Nurses Charitable Trust, our associated charity.

“The Company of Nurses Charitable Trust offers a secure repository for the many alumni associations and leagues of nurses to protect their assets, ensuring that any charitable funds are used for their original purpose. They can remain safe for nurses in perpetuity within the security of the centuries old City of London Livery movement.”

Cavell Nurses’ Trust, the charity that supports nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants when they are suffering personal or financial hardship, also benefits from The Nightingale Fellowship’s donation.

Simon Knighton, Chairman of Cavell Nurses’ Trust responded to the news, “We are incredibly grateful to The Nightingale Fellowship for their donation. We’ve seen the number of calls for help from nursing professionals double in the space of just three years, so this vital funding will go towards helping the increase in this demand for support and transforming the lives of nurses suffering hardship, ensuring that many of them can stay in or return to work.”

This year The Nightingale Fellowship also supported the establishing of The Nightingale Academy at GSTT with an academic award of £250,000 to encourage the programme initiated by Dame Eileen Sills (Chief Nurse at GSTT).

A further grant if £100,000 was given to St Christopher’s Hospice for its Palliative Care courses, in recognition of the centenary of the birth of Dame Cicely Saunders - founder of the modern hospice movement. Dame Cicely was a Nightingale Nurse prior to studying medicine.