Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice and Bournville Football Club have kicked off their official partnership, after the club recently raised £1,000 for the charity.

The two organisations have come together to help better educate the local community about the vital care and support a hospice can provide to people who are living with life-limiting illness.

Birmingham St Mary’s – which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year – wanted to collaborate with the club so that it can listen to community concerns around hospice care and better understand what support is needed in the Bournville community and beyond.

Similarly, the Hospice wanted to inform residents of the vital services it can offer and how hospice care is about helping people to live well when they’ve been diagnosed with an incurable illness.

Sharon Hudson, community development and partnerships lead at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, said: “At the Hospice, we are committed to providing the best hospice care across our communities but we can only do this if we listen to what people in our communities actually want and need.

“I’m absolutely delighted that we’ve partnered with Bournville FC as it gives the Hospice a valuable opportunity to talk openly to local people about the importance of hospice care. Even today, there are too many people who are living with a life-limiting illness but are dying alone, unsupported and unaware of the difference hospice care can make to the quality of their life. We want to change this and so by building a partnership with Bournville FC, we hope to raise awareness of our crucial care across the South Birmingham community.”

Whilst this is just the start of Birmingham St Mary’s and Bournville FC’s official partnership, the football club has generously being supporting the charity during the past year.

Mat Wilson, who is the current chair of Bournville FC and senior minister of Rowheath Pavilion, said: “It’s been truly heartening to see everyone come together to help raise vital funds and awareness for Birmingham St Mary’s, whether that be our footballers, their parents or members of the local community.

“I’m really keen to grow Bournville’s community hub, so partnering with the Hospice is a great way to unite local people and get fundraising for a fantastic cause. Even better, is knowing that the Hospice can also use this collaboration as a way of educating more people about its services and the vital work it does.”

This year, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice is celebrating 40 years of care across Birmingham and Sandwell. When the Hospice first opened in 1979, it could care for 25 people on any given day. Four decades later and the Hospice is supporting over 400 people every day, providing care in people’s homes, in the community, at its Day Hospice facility and at the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit. 

Bournville FC is a local youth football club with both boys and girls teams, ranging from under 7s to under 18s.To find out more, visit their Facebook page