Four decades after officially opening the charity, HRH Princess Alexandra returned to Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice to mark its 40th anniversary.
During her visit the Princess unveiled a Blue Plaque awarded by the Birmingham Civic Society to honour the charity’s founder, Monica Pierce.
The Princess – who has a keen interest in health and social care – was greeted by the charity’s nursing director, Helen O’Halloran, who took her on a guided tour of the hospice’s facilities. There she met the team of doctors, nurses and other staff who provide care, and joined patients and volunteers in the Day Hospice to see their therapeutic arts sessions in action.
Lynne Stephenson was one of the patients who met and chatted with the Princess. She said: “It was lovely to see HRH Princess Alexandra visit the hospice today, especially as she opened the hospice 40 years ago. She was wonderfully chatty, and it was really nice that she took the time to speak to everyone.
“I have been a patient at Birmingham St Mary’s for over two months and during that time it has made a positive impact to my life. As I’m sure the Princess would have seen during her visit today, the hospice is a wonderful place full of love, laughter and life.”
The Princess also spoke to Eileen McCann, a dedicated volunteer who has been supporting the hospice since 2011. Eileen is a collection box volunteer, encouraging local shops, supermarkets, pubs
and cafes to raise money for the charity by hosting collection tins.
Eileen said: “It was wonderful to welcome Princess Alexandra to the hospice and show her how much it has grown over the past 40 years. As a fundraising volunteer, I enjoyed sharing with her the success of our collection box scheme, which has raised over £230k since it started in 2012. Today has been a really special day and will be one that I remember fondly.”
Helen added: “It’s been a real privilege to welcome Princess Alexandra to our hospice and show her how much we’ve adapted and evolved our services – both at the hospice and out in the community – to meet patient needs over the last four decades.
“We were delighted that the Princess was able to unveil Monica’s Pearce’s Blue Plaque, recognising our founder’s unwavering commitment to transform care across our city and beyond. We’re incredibly proud of our history, so thank you to Princess Alexandra and the Birmingham Civic Society for choosing to honour Monica Pearce’s wonderful legacy today.”
For more information visit Birmingham St Mary’s