The Archdiocese of Birmingham has gifted Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice the freehold of its premises – 40 years after its first foundation stone was set.
Previously leaseholders of the Raddlebarn Road property, the charity now owns the freehold thanks to the generosity of the Catholic Church.
Construction of the Selly Park building began in 1977, with the then-Archbishop of Birmingham, George Dwyer, laying down the first foundation stone. Two years later, the organisation opened its doors, making it the first independent hospice in the Midlands to provide vital care and support to families living with terminal illness.
The Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham has supported the Hospice as it has evolved, letting the organisation use the building rent free and allowing a number of extensions to be built– such as the Day Hospice and communal conservatory. Looking ahead, the freehold will provide the charity with more freedom to grow in future years.
The Most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, said: “For the last forty years, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice has been offering a wonderful service across the city to individuals and families living with terminal illness. The Hospice has continued to welcome people from all sectors of the community and it has reflected the all-embracing love of Jesus Christ for those in need, irrespective of their cultural or religious background. By gifting the freehold of the Hospice’s premises, I am delighted that the Archdiocese has helped secure the future of its vital work for many years to come.”
Tina Swani, CEO of Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, added: “We are hugely grateful to the Archdiocese of Birmingham for this generous gift and for the help they have given us over the past forty years.
“We highly value their recognition that we provide vital end of life care to a richly diverse community, always respecting the needs of each individual, whether or not they are part of a named religion.
“This gift will make a tremendous difference to taking forward our ‘Hospice Care For All’ strategy, allowing us to reach even more people living with terminal illness in Birmingham and Sandwell.”
If you would like to find out more about Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice’s services, visit: www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/