THE Marillac Neurological Care Centre reaches an exciting milestone this September as the charity celebrates its 100th anniversary.
The centre was opened initially as a tuberculosis sanatorium in 1921 by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, a worldwide network of Catholic women who for centuries have dedicated their lives serving anyone who stood in need of help. Today the Marillac operates as a 24-hour care and rehabilitation centre for adults with complex neurological conditions and injuries.
To mark the centenary this week, current and former staff, residents, and their families were treated to a day of activities, including live music, a free raffle with 10 star prizes and an awards ceremony.
Celebrations started with a live-streamed mass at the centre’s chapel, in keeping with the Marillac’s Christian heritage. A narrative of the Marillac’s 100-year history was displayed through pictures around the main hall.
Chief Executive Officer of the Marillac, Paul Dixon, reflects on the Charity’s centenary:
“It is a remarkable achievement for the Charity to be able to celebrate 100 years of service to the community. The Charity holds a special place in the hearts of people who pass through the doors for treatment, visit their loved ones, come to celebrate with the community or, as in my case, come as a place of work.
“I am proud to be part of the centenary team that, with my colleagues beside me, holds the service ready for the residents and staff of the future.”
The centre’s name derives from Saint Louise de Marillac, co-founder of The Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul. Much has changed since the Marillac first opened, but its core values – RESPECT, TRUST, HOPE, DIGNITY and EXCELLENCE – are drawn from the inheritance of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, remain the same.
“The Marillac Neurological Care Centre has morphed into what it has become today on the back of all the wonderful and diligent staff who have worked here. The care and commitment shown by them is nothing short of amazing, and the success and longevity of the service is down to the Founding Sisters and those that have followed in their footsteps.
“Anybody who works here accepts that there is a legacy to fulfil, and it is our duty to match the excellence and caring nature of those that have gone before.”
Finance Assistant at the Marillac, Katy Cutmore, says she feels lucky to work in such a place:
“The Marillac has – and continues to – evolve, making it the truly unique, special place for residents, staff and families that it is.
“I have seen many changes during my time here, but the five values are always paramount.”
The Marillac contains a full multi-disciplinary clinical team for its 52 residents, including Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Music Therapy and Psychology, as well as state-of-the-art equipment. The centre also offers day and outpatient therapy services.
Patricia McCarthy, the wife of former resident Gerry McCarthy, says being at the Marillac Centre was like being in a beautiful sanctuary:
“We are so grateful for all the aspects of our shared experience at the Marillac – physical, emotional, spiritual, medical – and also the loving care we saw so often.
“The family were always made to feel at home there with him too. Gerry’s eight-year-old grandson always felt welcome when he visited his grandad and is doing a 5km sponsored run for the Centre in September.”
Husband of a former resident of the Marillac, Barry Hawkins, says seeking support from the Marillac was the best decision they ever made:
“My wife was a resident at the Marillac for nearly five years after falling off a horse and sustaining brain damage. On visiting the centre, all my prayers were answered. The service my wife received was to the highest standard possible, and the other part was they looked after me and my family.”
This will be the second milestone that the charity has reached this year, after becoming an independent charitable company on 1st April 2021. The Marillac simultaneously became a member of the Daughters of Charity Services group, a family of Vincentian charities responding practically to present and emerging poverties across Great Britain.