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Jenner Museum makes final push for fundraising

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Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Wednesday, 19th December 2018, 09:10

The ‘Together for Jenner’ event raised £2,000 The ‘Together for Jenner’ event raised £2,000

The Bank of England recently asked for nominations of great British scientists to appear on the new £50 note.

Among the names put forward was that of Edward Jenner, one of the pioneers of vaccination, and a former Berkeley local.

His 18th century home, which is just a stone’s throw away from Berkeley Castle, is today a museum dedicated to teaching people about his work and the colossal impact he had on modern life.

Owen Gower, museum manager and expert on all things Jenner, explains just how far reaching the effects of Jenner’s work were.

He said: “Edward Jenner was one of the first to hold clinical practices of vaccinations, and essentially set up events to completely eradicate smallpox worldwide.

“The work he did has saved millions of lives, and we at the museum aim to use his legacy to educate and inspire people.”

Dr Jenner’s House features around 5000 individual pieces that help tell the story of his life and work, and Owen relies on a team of around 25 volunteers to help him take care of the museum.

The museum is run as an independent charity with no government funding and has recently been forced to hold a fundraising campaign to try and raise £20,000 in order to remain open.

“In the past couple of years we’ve taken various steps to reduce our deficit but we’re not where we need to be at the moment,” Owen explained. “We’re asking people for support to provide us with a buffer and help us secure our long-term future.

“We’ve had some really positive talks with potential funders and our trustees and we’ve got some exciting plans for the coming years.”

There’s been a huge amount of support from the local community around Dr Jenner’s House, as well as from the wider general public.

Owen continued: “We’ve been amazed and encouraged by the support that the people of Berkeley and Gloucestershire as a whole have given us.

“We held a ‘Together for Jenner’ event in October that attracted around 240 people and raised £2,000 on the day. Overall we’re up to about £15,000 and we’re just on the final push to reach our target by the end of March.

“Edward Jenner was such an active member of the community in Berkeley. He provided the local people with free vaccinations and was even mayor of the town during his lifetime!

“It’s great to know that the people of Berkeley want to preserve his memory and help to keep us open.”

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