“2021 is a long-awaited year for all of us. After the extraordinarily challenging 2020, people all around the world have been looking forward to turning a new corner, and to entering a new – and hopefully happier and eventually more ‘normal’ – time.
“Here at St Ann’s, we’ve been thinking the same too of course. Our staff have worked so hard on the front line during the pandemic, and throughout last year we had to be fleet of foot, adapting to both the changes in the world around us, but also the changing needs of our patients and their loved ones. It’s a year none of us will forget in a hurry, I’m sure.
“But, at the hospice, 2021 is actually a huge milestone we’ve been looking forward to for an even longer time too.
“It’s the year we will be celebrating our 50th birthday, and as one of the oldest hospices in the UK, we’re really proud and excited to be marking this significant moment in our history.
Greater Manchester is home to so many firsts; to a great number of pioneers who have led the way, and I’d like to think that at St Ann’s we’ve played our own part in steering forward important advances in palliative and end of life care that have helped put Manchester on the map.
“A lot has changed since we first opened our doors on 17th May 1971, but the ethos of the hospice, to ensure that people with life-limiting illnesses can be supported to live the best possible quality of life they can, remains the same.
“In 1967, when Dr Moya Cole approached the Bishop of Manchester Right Reverend Dr William Greer about creating a hospice in Manchester, the members of the community who worked with them to make that a reality knew the importance of providing a new way of caring for patients.
“Thinking about a holistic approach, which considers the whole person, is still at the heart of what we do here, and though our roots were as a Christian organisation, we now pride ourselves to provide care and support for people from all faiths and none, tailoring our care to their individual needs, whatever community they belong to or whatever beliefs they may have.
"We’ve so much planned for this year, and I’m really excited at the prospect of sharing details with you as we move through 2021. As a charity, we’ll have lots of exciting fundraising events and activities for you to get involved in – whether in person or remotely – and we’d love you to help spread the word about St Ann’s and our half century milestone.
“We’ll be sharing more information on our website and social media channels in the coming weeks and months, so do watch this space.
“But, in the meantime, why not have a look online at our Big Birthday guide to ways you can get involved with our 50th celebrations.
“There’s hopefully something for everyone to join in with, whatever your interests, and it would be fantastic if you were able to be part of this historic year in our history.
“After all, St Ann’s is only still here after half a century thanks to the support of our amazing community – whether that’s those who have donated money to help us raise the £20,000 a day we need to keep our services running; the volunteers who have given their time selflessly to support our patients or hospice staff; health care professionals who’ve collaborated with us to improve the lives of people from around Greater Manchester; or anyone who has ever popped into a St Ann’s shop, bought a hospice lottery ticket, or simply said hello to our teams if they’ve seen us with our collecting buckets in town. The St Ann’s family certainly reaches far and wide, and we couldn’t be more grateful.
“Thanks for all your support, and I hope you’ll enjoy celebrating our 50th birthday year with us. Here’s to a happy and positive 2021.”