Dr Jenner’s House
The story of Edward Jenner shows how we all have the capacity to change the world, individually and collectively. Dr Jenner’s House is a monument to one of the greatest public health innovations of all time and an inspiration for the current and next generation of scientists. As the world once again unites in the struggle against disease, for many the works and values of Edward Jenner are crucial in making sense of current events.
Responsibility for the continued preservation of Dr Jenner’s House as a museum falls to The Jenner Trust, an independent charity in receipt of no regular funding. Each and every year we are responsible for generating the income required to maintain the building, open it to visitors and run our educational and outreach programmes. In common with many charities we have limited reserves and, in most years, expect at least 70% of our funding to come from our visitors. As the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic became apparent we realised that we would receive very little, if anything, in visitor income in 2020 and that we had to reach out and ask you for help.
In less than two months you have helped us to reach our target and raised over £45,000 to support the work of The Jenner Trust. This is an amazing achievement and is the result of over 1,000 people from around the world coming together in agreement that this is a time for Jenner. To everyone who has supported us, either financially, through sharing our appeal or even just in your words of encouragement: thank you.
I want to make it clear, however, that this is not a case of Dr Jenner’s House being ‘saved’. Together we’ve achieved something quite wonderful that will make a huge difference to the museum this year and allow our team the time we need to start rebuilding, but without significant and sustained investment Dr Jenner’s House will always be just one unexpected repair bill away from disaster. We continue to pursue other avenues of funding and will still need to lean heavily on government initiatives, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The Jenner Trust operates on a shoestring and with a very small team of staff and volunteers. It is quite likely that for years to come we will be operating in a changed environment, one where physical distance is of vital importance and, quite frankly, one for which a country doctor’s family home is ill-suited.
Through crowdfunding we have raised enough money to help us to survive another year, however in order to thrive, to truly fulfil the potential that we have as the home of vaccination and to develop our work so that Dr Jenner’s House is as easily accessible to people who are unable to visit in person as it is to those who are, we still need your help.
Although our crowdfunder has now closed, any donations you make now will support our future development and help us to rebuild our work. Please also write to your MPs, to people in positions of influence who may be able to stand up for us and see that our work is appropriately and sustainably funded. And please tell your friends about us and about the story of the country doctor who changed the world. Because now more than ever, the world needs to know about Edward Jenner, his remarkable legacy, and how the world came together to defeat smallpox.
Owen Gower, Museum Manager, Dr Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden
The Chantry, Church Lane, Berkeley, Gloucestershire, GL13 9BN
T: +44 (0)1453 810631