National Open Garden Scheme
We will be participating in this charitable event this year under the umbrella of the Bishopscourt Garden in Rochester over the weekend of 13th and 14th June and hope to welcome many visitors to view our delightful small garden overlooking the river Medway.
Heritage Open Weekends 2020
We were once again delighted to welcome so many visitors to the almshouse and the boardroom over the Heritage Weekends in 2019 which were blessed with almost perfect weather. Many thanks to everyone who made the effort to visit us and helped to make the event a success.
This year the event will take place overall from 11th – 20th September. We will be open as usual over the two weekends – 12th and 13th and 19th and 20th September and we hope to welcome our many regular visitors as well as newcomers.
Sir John Hawkins Hospital 425th Anniversary Year
The 425th anniversary of the signing of the hospital’s founding royal charter fell on 27 August 2019 and was celebrated by the residents with a fascinating guided tour of The Old Naval College in Greenwich, followed by lunch by the river. Notwithstanding the day being one of the hottest of the year, the party, headed by 92 year-old Alf Smith, who has lived at the hospital for the last 25 years, delved into the College’s many sights, from the bowling alley in the basement to the newly-restored magnificent Painted Hall, approached up an impressive staircase. The wealth of history was vividly brought to life by the Greenwich guide who combined a deep knowledge of site with a wry sense of humour.
Further events to mark the anniversary took place at the beginning of October, starting with a fund-raising dinner aboard HMS Victory, in Portsmouth. Over 90 guests enjoyed a meal that was a masterpiece of clever menu planning and improvisation necessitated by the lack of any cooking facilities on the flagship. Admiral Sir Alan Massey, a former Second Sea Lord, was the guest speaker and he adroitly knitted together his thoughts on the continuity of service exemplified by Sir John Hawkins Hospital, HMS Victory and the today’s Royal Navy. Guests left the ship in the teeth of an October squall but the weather failed to dampen or dim the memory of a splendid evening.
The year’s celebrations culminated at The Annual National Service for Seafarers, held in St Paul’s Cathedral on 9 October. The hospital shared the limelight with Greenwich Hospital Trust as the year’s featured charities in front of a congregation of 1,800, headed by the Lord Mayor of London and including senior figures from the Admiralty Board, Trinity House and maritime professions and charities. The service was a memorable experience for the residents and governors present and it was agreed that Sir John Hawkins Hospital was now primed to face whatever the next 425 years might bring.
Heritage Open Weekends 2019
We are once again participating in England’s largest heritage festival which takes place over two weeks this year. The boardroom and garden at the hospital will be open on Saturday and Sunday 14th and 15th and 21st and 22nd September from 11am to 4pm. We invite visitors into the boardroom to see many artefacts relating to the history of the almshouse and the career of Sir John Hawkins. Refreshments will be available in the delightful garden which is now more accessible with our new stairlift. We look forward to welcoming old friends and new visitors.
Launch Of The New Garden Stairlift
At the rear of the Hospital is a delightful small garden fronting the river’s edge. However with access via a flight of steep steps, it has been difficult for some residents to access and enjoy the garden. Thanks to the very generous support from Trinity House and Greenwich Hospital we have been able to install a stairlift. Our longest serving governor, Admiral of the Fleet the Lord Boyce KG GCB OBE DL, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, kindly agreed to cut the ribbon and launch the new stairlift on 13 June 2018.
A Big Thank You To Our Donors
As the year draws to a close, the Governors of Sir John Hawkins Hospital would like to thank those organisations that have made very generous donations to us over the past year: The Patron’s Fund; Mr Nick Wood; the Medway Mission to Seamen Trust and the Chatham Naval Officers Association. Their generosity has enabled us to buy several items of garden furniture for our residents to enjoy in the summer months; install a stairlift in one of the flats to help a disabled resident and to upgrade the Telecare emergency call equipment for each resident.
Heritage Open Weekend
We were delighted to welcome so many visitors to the almshouse and the boardroom over the Heritage Weekend. Despite the slightly unkind weather, visitors were also able to stroll around our delightful little garden and enjoy a delicious cream tea. Several visitors were returnees who had appreciated our hospitality last year and we hope to welcome many more visitors at next year’s event on 15th and 16th September 2018. Many thanks to everyone who participated in the event this year.
Award From The Patron’s Fund
Following the successful Patron’s Fund lunch in The Mall last summer to celebrate the 90th birthday of Her Majesty The Queen, all eligible charitable organisations were invited to apply for a gift from the fund. The criteria for the gift was to provide something of benefit for the beneficiaries of the organisation and we are delighted to announce that we have been awarded a sum of £2,500 from the fund to use for the benefit of our residents.
The Fund has been shared equally between almost 300 successful applicants. Thanks to the generous donations from individual donors and the proceeds from The Patron’s Lunch event on the Mall, the Fund has been able to support many organisations for which Her Majesty, The Queen acts as a Patron. Sir Stuart Etherington, Chair of The Board of Trustees for The Patron’s Fund, said:
‘The Patron’s Fund is very pleased to be able to support The Hospital of Sir John Hawkins with its valuable work. The almshouse is among hundreds of organisations for which The Queen acts as a Patron, which between them make a difference to causes and communities in the UK and throughout the Commonwealth”.
The generous gift will be used to purchase some comfortable garden furniture which will benefit all our residents and enable them to socialise and enjoy our delightful garden in the warmer weather.