Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice is asking local people to Go Pink! – whether that’s wearing it pink, baking it pink or making it pink – on Wednesday 10 July to celebrate the day the Hospice was officially opened by Princess Alexandra in 1979. By turning the city pink, it hopes to raise vital awareness and funds for its work, in which it provides care and support to local people who are living with life-limiting illness.

Lucy Watkins, head of fundraising at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, said: “Whether it’s wearing a pink fancy dress outfit, baking pink cakes for the office or hosting your own pink-themed party, Go Pink! is a really simple but fun way of supporting Birmingham St Mary’s during our 40th anniversary.

“It will cost £8.3 million this year to keep the Hospice’s crucial services running, most of which needs to be raised through the generosity of local people and businesses. By turning the city pink this July, we hope to make our communities more aware of what hospice care is and help raise the money needed to continue to provide it.”

Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice opened its doors in 1979, after it was founded by former NHS matron Monica Pearce. At the time, it was the first independent hospice in the Midlands and only the seventh nationwide.

40 years on and Birmingham St Mary’s remains the city’s largest hospice. It is caring for more people than ever before – over 400 people every day – and it can provide support in people’s homes, in the community and at the Hospice.

One of those people is Merdella, who is currently receiving care from the Hospice’s ‘Support at Home’ service – a volunteer-led initiative which provides practical, social and emotional support in individual’s homes. Merdella is backing the Go Pink! campaign as a way of showing her support for the charity.

She said: “Happy isn’t a word I thought I would use to describe my time at a hospice but that’s how I always feel, happy. The nurses and volunteers are so kind and empathetic – they understand what I’m going through and help me to be as comfortable as I can be. They remind you that life is about living and always encourage you to live as well as you can.”

Lucy added: “Whilst Go Pink! is a really fun way for people to support the Hospice, it’s also an opportunity to highlight how vital our care is for people just like Merdella. Demand for palliative and end of life care is growing at a significant pace – well beyond the £8.3 million needed to meet current needs – so funds raised from campaigns like this ensure that we can continue to provide our care to people now and for another 40 years to come.”

Go Pink! is taking place on Wednesday 10 July across the city. To find out more about the campaign and to pledge your support, visit their website