Florence Nightingale White Rose Appeal

Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter

The Florence Nightingale White Rose Appeal

To commemorate the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale’s birth on 12th May 2020, the Foundation launched the Florence Nightingale White Rose Appeal with the help of our appeal ambassador, Helena Bonham Carter. We also mark International Nurses’ Day on 12th May when we all come together to celebrate nurses and midwives across the world.

Throughout our lives, we will all encounter a nurse or midwife, either caring for us or a loved one. At times we don’t remember the name of a nurse who looked after us, but we never forget the way they made us feel, and it is this memory and feeling that stays with us for a lifetime. You can thank a nurse or midwife who cared for you or a loved one by buying a white rose in their honour. We ask for a minimum donation of £5 and you will receive a virtual rose via email in return.

Why a white rose?

Florence Nightingale famously wore Floris of London’s White Rose scent and had bottles shipped out to her during her time in the Crimea war. A white rose also symbolises new beginnings and for the Foundation, we see it as a symbol of hope for a time when we will all be together again.

This feeling of hope has been missing since the pandemic began. However, it has been nurses and midwives working on the frontline of COVID-19 who have provided comfort and hope to patients and their families and is a fitting tribute to them.

Florence Nightingale White Rose Appeal Commemoration Wall

Every year on or close to 12th May, since 1965, the Florence Nightingale Foundation has held a commemoration service at Westminster Abbey to continue Florence’s legacy, and celebrate the contribution of nurses and midwifes everywhere. The virtual rose you buy today will transform into a wall of white roses at Westminster Abbey, once lockdown comes to an end and it is safe to do so.

Where your donation goes

The White Rose Appeal was launched in 2020 to help nurses and midwives working on the frontline of COVID-19 and beyond. Money raised went towards caring for the mental health of nurses and midwives by providing emotional and wellbeing support.

Your donation will also allow us to continue our vital work, providing scholarships to the best nurses and midwives in the UK allowing them to make a real difference to patient care, policy and practice in their chosen field. As a Foundation we believe in creating and empowering nursing and midwifery leaders of tomorrow, all of whom are Florence Nightingale’s legacy.

To purchase your own white rose for a nurse or midwife who has touched the life of you or a loved one please visit our Virgin Money Giving Page 

“This campaign provides a chance for anyone and everyone to thank a particular nurse or midwife who has meant a lot to them. Today marks the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale and this is a way to honour and celebrate her and her legacy that the Foundation has kept alive. Your donation will allow the Foundation to provide vital support to nurses on the frontline during the pandemic and beyond. Why me? I have a personal connection to Florence Nightingale. My great, great grandmother, Joanna, was Florence’s aunt. My great, great uncle, Walter Bonham Carter helped to establish the Florence Nightingale Foundation in 1934. Joanna’s daughter, Hilary Bonham Carter, was arguably her best friend and assistant after the Crimea. I love the idea of continuing to assist the great woman over the centuries. It puts a new slant on Best Friends Forever!” “My late father was nursed at home for 24 years by hundreds of different nurses. I’m indebted to everyone of them. That is why I’m buying shedloads of roses!”

Helena Bonham Carter

Appeal Ambassador