Big-hearted people who are being supported by Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice threw a party on Wednesday 6 March to celebrate the charity’s 40th anniversary.
Over 15 people who attend the Hospice’s ‘Welcome Group’, came together to host the festivities as a way of celebrating the charity’s momentous milestone.
The special gathering took place at the Hospice and people invited their families, carers and loved ones to join in the fun, as well as the charity’s chief executive, staff and volunteers.
The thoughtful band of ‘party planners’ all attend Welcome Group – a peer support network that helps people to focus on living well with life-limiting illness. The group meet once a week and so they decided to call the party ‘A Day of Change’ as that’s exactly what the regular support means to them.
Nathan Johnson from Balsall Heath has been attending the Hospice’s Welcome Group for several years. He was just one of the individuals who devised the celebrations as a way of saying thank you to the “amazing support” he has received from the Hospice.
He said: “Today’s celebrations have gone down brilliantly. It’s great to bring everyone together to enjoy food, live music and a special cake cutting ceremony. There’s been a great buzz in the room and it was lovely to meet the families and loved ones of some of the friends I’ve made at the Hospice’s Welcome Group.
“We wanted to put on this party to celebrate Birmingham St Mary’s fantastic 40th. The Hospice has such a personal touch to its care – the nurses really get to know you and have a way of making you feel safe and comfortable. I’ve also made some wonderful friends at Welcome Group and it’s great that we can come together to support one another.”
Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice was founded by former NHS matron, Monica Pearce, in 1979. The Hospice cared for its first patient in March of ‘79 and over the last 40 years, it has continued to grow to become Birmingham and Sandwell’s largest hospice.
When the Hospice first opened, it could care for just 25 people on any given day. Four decades later and it is now supporting over 400 people every day, providing vital care in people’s homes, in the community, at its Day Hospice facility, and at the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit.
Birmingham St Mary’s chief executive, Tina Swani, was invited to officially cut the cake at the party. She said: “The people we care for always at the heart of everything we do, so it was really touching to hear that the people we support at Welcome Group wanted to throw a party to honour our 40th anniversary. I’ve really enjoyed today’s celebrations and would like to thank everyone who made the party so special.”
Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice will be celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout 2019 with a number of special events and activities. To find out more, please take a read here.