Anne Watkins and Bertha Matunge
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The Nightingale Fund

On 30 June 2023 the Nightingale Fund and the Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF) became one charity. Given both organisation’s connections to one of the world’s most famous and influential nurses, it is a fitting union and a privilege to be entrusted with the guardianship of funds raised directly in honour of Florence Nightingale’s work. 

The Nightingale Fund was established in 1857 and is the keeper of the original endowment raised because of fundraising undertaken for Florence Nightingale towards the end of the Crimean War. In 1859 Florence Nightingale used some of the Fund to set up the nurses’ training school at St Thomas’s Hospital in London. The Nightingale Fund Council and Florence were then influential in the design of the new hospital, St Thomas’ on the Albert Embankment site, opened on 21 June 1871.

The Fund continued to support healthcare education in compliance with the original aspirations of Florence Nightingale. The Fund has, for much of its history, been safeguarded by the Bonham Carter and Verney families because of their family connections with Nightingale, until today by Thomas Bonham Carter and Sir Edmund Verney. 

Entrusting these funds to FNF will enable the Foundation to support UK nurses and midwives through its unique leadership scholarship opportunities. The FNF scholarships are a once in a lifetime opportunity for nurses and midwives to develop as leaders to improve patient and health outcomes.

Creating Nightingale Fund Scholarship places means that we will continue to honour Florence’s legacy by supporting nurses and midwives, through these funds, to be the best they can be and to have an even greater impact on patients, people, and the communities in which they work. 

Through the FNF scholarship I took up a digital project to find ways to make the service more accessible. This work will not only improve the experience of service users and carers, but will improve prognosis and the likelihood of recovery; reduce the likelihood of relapse and hospital admissions; and result in fewer people needing long-term mental health services.”

Matt Brayford, Mental health Nurse, Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board, 2022-2023 FNF Digital Scholar. 

Click here to find out more about our leadership scholarship programmes. Applications open yearly from August, do keep an eye on our newsletter and social media for announcements.

FNF will fund an annual lecture to incorporate the history of Florence Nightingale and of The Nightingale Fund. Details of this will be shared when available.

You can read the full press release on the union of the two charities here.