An update from the Chair of the Trustees & Museum Director: Nightingale’s bicentenary and our bid to Save the Museum

On behalf of the team at the Florence Nightingale Museum we would like to thank every individual and organisation who joined us in celebrating Nightingale’s bicentenary and International Nurses Day on 12 May 2020. The pandemic and its effects frustratingly required so many cancellations and changes to plans, but from your messages and photographs we are aware of so much positive activity, and we are truly honoured to have played our part in helping co-ordinate and promote so many events around the globe. We hope that you enjoyed our hastily arranged projection onto Westminster, a late addition to our programme and a direct response to social distancing measures and the need for a high profile celebration of both Nightingale and our current nurses and carers. It was a fantastic honour to be given permission to lead this initiative and we thank the Speakers of both Houses of Parliament, the team at Guy’s &St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity and everyone else who supported us in delivering this unique project. Our pride in the nursing profession and those who care and indeed all that has been achieved in these most challenging of times could not have been made more clear.

Whilst some events have inevitably been cancelled, we are also aware that a number of activities have been postponed to a later date, so do let us know if this is the case and we will do our best to support and promote these via our website events calendar and social media. We are aware that so much hard work and investment had already been made that many of you will be keen to continue when it is safe and practical to do so. We are certainly hoping that the Nightingale Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show will now take place in 2021 and are looking forward to confirmation of this.

The museum is also still planning for our commemorative evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday 27 October 2020, and our participation in the Lord Mayor of London’s Show on Saturday 14 November 2020, recognising that these will most likely be effected by some social distancing measures. Where possible, we do hope you will be able to join us at these events, even if your participation is virtual rather than in person.

Whilst the museum is sadly closed, we are continuing to offer online engagement, notably through our online bicentenary exhibition, “Nightingale in 200 Objects, People and Places”, the development of which has proved to be a massive asset during lockdown and of great assistance to families who have needed home learning resources. The museum management team are also considering plans for how and when we will re-open, although like so many small charities this will be an immense challenge as our income sources have been dramatically curtailed since 17 March 2020 when the museum closed. It is therefore sadly inevitable that our principle bicentenary activity will now need to be a ‘Save The Museum’ campaign, as we seek to raise approximately £190k to safeguard our immediate future. This sum is needed to help us protect our collections and basic level engagement services, recognising that the visitor market will be decimated for some time, particularly at our central London venue, where use of public transport cannot be avoided. We must also recognise that we will not see the usual high numbers of foreign tourists for some time whilst our visitor experience may need to adapt to meet reopening criteria. 98% of the museums revenue is generated directly by visitors attending site and we now simply must find alternative sources of income to balance the books. Thank you to all who have donated or made supportive purchase from our webshop so far.

We continue to welcome discussions regarding all fundraising and support ideas from individuals, businesses and grant giving bodies and are pleased to be able to announce that we have now received a grant towards our target from the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s emergency Covid19 response scheme. We are immensely grateful for this support and combined with the donations that we have already secured, we have therefore secured 38% of our target which is hugely encouraging, although there is a long way to go yet. Our planned charity auction lead by Hanson’s will hopefully add to our coffers and we thank them for their support. Donations of auction lots continue to be very welcome.

2020 has certainly not turned out to be the year that we expected and our thoughts and prayers are with you all and indeed all those effected at this challenging and unprecedented time. We hope to be able to welcome you all back to the museum soon, and then continue with our plans to move to a purpose built site with greater capacity that will allow us to develop and become the largest nursing museum in the country, an asset of genuine national and international significance and a fitting tribute not only to Nightingale but to all in the profession and the community.

Dame Christine Beasley, CBE – Chair of the Trustees of Florence Nightingale Museum and former Chief Nursing Officer, England

David Green – Director, Florence Nightingale Museum


2020 is Florence Nightingale’s bicentenary but without your support, the Museum faces the threat of closure.

What happened in 2020

2020 has been designated the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife in honour of Florence Nightingale’s bicentenary. International Nurses Day on 12 May is also her 200th birthday. In what should have been a hugely important and successful year for our museum, we instead find ourselves, like most other organisations, facing the threat of closure due to a world pandemic.

Nursing, washing your hands and evidence based-healthcare, pioneered by Florence Nightingale, have become more important than ever before and we’re calling upon our friends and supporters to help us preserve her story and legacy.

Why we need your help

Under normal circumstances, 98% of our income is earned from admissions, retail and our schools programme which we can’t achieve under closure. We receive no government funding and therefore have no substantial income stream. We’ve taken numerous strategic and practical steps to make savings but we still face high operational costs totalling upwards of £20,000 per month which are becoming increasingly difficult to afford. With no clarity over when we’ll be allowed to re-open, and what the landscape for our sector will be like by that time, our museum is at great risk of permanent closure which is why we’ve decided to try and raise roughly three months worth of costs.

It is not an easy step to ask for help. We know and understand that this crisis has put many people and workplaces in financial difficulty.

Every donation, no matter what the size, is wholeheartedly welcome and will help us continue our purpose as a museum to care for a historically significant collection and to inspire the next generation of healthcare workers.

Any donation, no matter how small, will help us preserve Nightingale’s achievements and legacy in these times when her work has never mattered more.

Text NIGHTINGALE to 70085 to donate £10

Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text NIGHTINGALENOINFO to 70085.

Support us

Please help to secure the legacy of Florence, her work and the future of the Museum.

The Florence Nightingale Museum is an independent museum and private charity. We receive no government funding and therefore rely on the generosity and goodwill of those who support us.

Support can range from one-off donations or volunteering your time here at the Museum. All types of support are valued and help us realise a wide variety of projects and activities.

You can support us in numerous ways

Donate online
Wall of Honour
Book of Honour

Wall of Honour

Say thank you to someone who has inspired you

We all need inspiration to help us through life, and Florence Nightingale inspired thousands of women and men to follow in her footsteps. We are inviting nominations for the museum’s Wall of Honour where you can honour someone who has inspired you or mark your own personal support for the museum.

The Wall of Honour is located in a museum’s reception area and welcomes all visitors to the museum. By supporting this project, you may choose a person to remember and ensure their name is featured on the Wall. You can remember anyone who has played an important role in your life, including relatives, friends, a nurse or carer, a teacher or professor, someone who has influenced your career or someone you admire. You can recognise the support of someone who is working, retired or who has passed away. Alternatively, you can celebrate your own contribution to the museum.

Your charitable donation will help us care for the museum’s collection and ensure that future generations have the chance to learn about Florence Nightingale and her achievements.

You will be recognised as a Patron and invited with your family to a special event to unveil your addition to the Wall of Honour. The invitation will be also be extended to the person you have remembered, if applicable.

To discuss how you would like to support us, please contact us

e-mail us

Book of Honour

Your page in the Book of Honour

Do you know a nurse who would like to be remembered on a page in the Florence Nightingale’s Book of Honour? Or would you like to commemorate your own nursing career?

For a donation of £60, we will place your words, photos and images in the Book to be kept in the museum forever, as a record of the incredible stories of nursing.

Each page is 30cm x 24cm (landscape).

Your donation will help us to care for the museum collection and continue in our work in celebrating nursing, past and present.

To discuss how you would like to support us, please contact us

e-mail us


One of the most effective and personal ways to make a lasting impact on the Florence Nightingale Museum’s work is to remember our charity in your will.

Legacies can be designated to a particular aspect of our work, such as education or growing our endowment, or they can be left to the discretion of the Museum.

e-mail us

To discuss how you would like to support us, please contact us