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Mildmay Mission Hospital Mark Their 150th Anniversary

Photo courtesy of Kois Miah

Monday 6th June 2016

This year Mildmay marked 150 years of medical care with a very special service to give thanks led by the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.

The service, which opened with words of welcome from Mildmay's president Margaret Sentamu, was held in the church where Mildmay's work first began in 1866. Mildmay's Founder, the Reverend William Pennefather and his wife Catherine, responded to appeals for help during the East London cholera epidemic. Their Christian mission to heal the sick and preach the gospel grew to form Mildmay's first nursing service.

Today Mildmay has much to be proud of: In 2014 they moved into a brand new purpose built hospital in East London, the only dedicated centre in Europe to provide specialist care and rehabilitation for people with serious and complex HIV associated health conditions, including brain impairment. Mildmay's hospital in Uganda now reaches 97,429 people. This means that alongside their work in Kenya, Mildmay now supports over 110,000 people living with and affected by HIV in East Africa.

Before the service commenced the Archbishop of York planted the yellow Floribunda Mildmay Rose in the gardens of St Jude’s and St Paul’s Church to mark Mildmay's anniversary and leave a lasting tribute.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said: "It gives me great joy to be here today as we celebrate this significant landmark in the life and work of Mildmay.  Having lived and worked in the East End of London myself for six years, 1996 - 2002, as Bishop to Stepney, I am hugely heartened and encouraged by what Mildmay has achieved over the years.  I think it is a great mark of maturity that Mildmay Uganda and Mildmay Kenya now have independent governing bodies while remaining part of the Mildmay International family.  I salute Mildmay UK which has once again re-envisioned itself into responding to today's pressing need of providing care and rehabilitation for people with complications as a result of HIV/Aids.  Above all I give thanks to God that the Trustees, staff and friends of Mildmay have done all this while remaining faithful to the Vision of its founder, the Revd Pennefather– “to provide life in all its fullness".

Ross White, CEO of Mildmay Mission hospital said: “We were deeply honoured that The Archbishop of York led our service today, his presence and words of blessing made this joyous occasion truly memorable. It was a wonderful opportunity for us all to give thanks, celebrate and reflect on our charity’s long history of Christian service and medical care. Today we take our vision from words inspired by John 10:10 'Life in all its fullness for people living with and affected by HIV' ”



Editors Notes:

For media enquiries for the Archbishop of York please email: or tel. 01904 772365


Mildmay is a dedicated HIV hospital and charity based in London’s East End which has been at the forefront of specialist HIV service delivery and care since 1988. Our UK hospital is Europe’s only centre dedicated to rehabilitation for people with HIV associated brain impairment. This condition presents with symptoms very similar to severe dementia. Approximately 20% of people with HIV will at some stage struggle with some level of neurocognitive disorder. Mildmay treats some of the most complex conditions associated with HIV in the country, often patients arrive unable to walk, talk, speak or feed themselves. Mildmay's multi-disciplinary approach, alongside highly -skilled medical care, intervention and treatment means 80% of patients return to independent living on discharge from Mildmay. The quality of life for all is vastly improved.

Figures released from Public Health England show that in 2014 an estimated 103,700 people are living with HIV in the UK today, with around 17% being unaware of their condition.

In December 2015 Mildmay UK were honoured to Welcome Prince Harry to mark the official opening of their new hospital.

The new Mildmay hospital which opened in 2014 stands on the site of Mildmay's old Victorian hospital. The new hospital is a bright and modern facility with a 26 bed Inpatient ward, greater space for Midmay's Day Services and has been designed to meet the specific needs of patients.

Mildmay's work in Africa: Mildmay now supports over 110,000 people living with and affected by HIV in East Africa. We provide education, training, comprehensive health and HIV care and treatment, as well as widening our reach to respond to other priority health issues. Our work has expanded to address and treat other HIV-related health conditions, including screening and treatment for TB, STI's and cervical cancer. We work with some of the most vulnerable children and adults, including orphans. As well as medical care we also provide providing psychological and social support. We also reach high-risk groups, including sex workers and fisherfolk with HIV-counselling, testing, prevention and treatment. Our work trains people to provide basic healthcare within their own communities and we also support projects such as income generation, empowering people to manage their own lives.

Mildmay 150 and our History:

In 2016 Mildmay will mark 150 years of providing service and medical care, reaching out to some of the most marginalised and vulnerable people.

Mildmay’s origins stretch back to the work carried out in 1866 by The Reverend William Pennefather and his wife Catherine, to tackle the Cholera epidemic in London’s East End. Catherine Pennefather trained women who shared their sense of mission to work with her, known as the Mildmay Deaconesses. At that time the East End was a dangerous and squalid part of London where even the Police feared to tread alone. The Mildmay Deaconesses began working among people living in the most deprived conditions, Catherine insisted upon a personal approach that respected the dignity of everyone that came into her care, however degraded they might have become by their circumstances. In 1890, a foundation stone was laid for a purpose-built hospital which opened in 1892. This is why the two wards in Mildmay’s brand new purpose built hospital that opened in September 2014, are named Catherine Ward and William Ward.

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