Landmark for one of the country’s oldest hospices.
Birmingham’s John Taylor Hospice this year celebrates an incredible 110th anniversary – marking more than a century of caring for local people.
One of the oldest hospices in the country, John Taylor was founded in 1910 by the people of Birmingham who fundraised to provide a ‘home of rest for the dying’.
Spearheaded by city doctor and suffragette Dr Mary Darby Sturge, the hospice opened as the Taylor Memorial Home in Showell Green House in Sparkhill near the then Women’s Hospital.The hospice was named after Birmingham’s pioneering women’s gynaecologist John Taylor and initially cared only for women with gynaecological cancers.
After the Second World War, the hospice moved into The Grange in Erdington, its home for the past seventy years. Hospice teams began caring for men in the 1970s, launched community services in the 1980s and branched out to care for people with a range of conditions including motor neurone disease and multiple sclerosis.
Today John Taylor Hospice is a charity which cares for around 2,000 patients each year as well as providing support and wellbeing for their families and friends.
The 110th year will see John Taylor holding a host of special events including a Secret Garden Ball in June, a Summer Party in July, a Sunset Walk during the summer and its annual Light up a Life later in December. There will also be a citywide art project with an exhibition planned for later in the year as well as a celebration party in the autumn.
The hospice has also created a special 110th anniversary logo to be used during 2020 and has carried out an extensive research project into the hospice’s history. Hospice CEO Penny Venables says: “John Taylor Hospice is unique in its history. We were the first non-denominational hospice in the country and were founded by people in the city who recognised the need for a home in the Midlands which could provide care for patients at the end of their lives.
“More than a century later we are still receiving funding from kind and generous people and companies who give time and money so we can continue to provide much-needed specialist care for patients and their families. Everyone who supports us during our 110th anniversary year will be helping to ensure the legacy of care for local people for the next 110 years.”
For more on John Taylor Hospice’s 110th anniversary, events and how you can support the hospice see www.johntaylorhospice.org.uk