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Florence Nightingale Derbyshire Association

Achievements

Our purpose is to promote awareness in Derbyshire of the achievements of Florence Nightingale in the Centenary year of her death on 13 August 1910.

She was brought up in Derbyshire and maintained a close connection to the county throughout her life. Her family lived in the area of Lea and Holloway for several generations, acquiring wealth and land through lead mining and manufacturing; the family home was initially Lea Hall and then Lea Hurst to which Florence was particularly attached.

Members of our committee comprise people from the local community in Derbyshire, and one who was the chair of the Friends of the Florence Nightingale Museum in St Thomas's Hospital London. Our activities have been greatly helped by the close cooperation of all the members working within the Committee and with many other local groups, all of us working under the 'Illuminate' programme of events in 2010 to celebrate this centenary.

We have either organised or supported the following educational programmes:

We held a range of celebratory events in Lea and Holloway. This began with an organised walk on the 8th August along the footpath used by Florence Nightingale from Whatstandwell Station to Lea Hurst, when she returned home unannounced from the Crimea on 8th August 1856. This was followed on the same day by a commemorative 'Songs of Praise' at Christ Church Holloway.

The major local celebration was a Florence Nightingale Heritage Festival in Lea and Holloway on the 14th August. There were a range of heritage crafts and activities for all the family together with a nursing exhibition which also ran on the 15th August; re-enactment featured strongly in support. The festival was opened by Mrs Margaret Povey, who is Florence Nightingale's nearest living relative.

We launched two Florence Nightingale Heritage Trail guides for local people and visitors to the area. One is designed for use by car and highlights points of historical interest in the Nightingale story and another describes two walks, one around the villages of Lea and Holloway where the family lived and the other the walk from Whatstandwell to Lea Hurst referred to above.

The major civic event was a commemorative service at Derby Cathedral on Friday 13th August. The Bishop of Derby gave the address at the service and the Derby Hospital Choir led the singing. The Mercian Regiment, the Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps and the Royal Derby Hospital participated with uniformed contingents; the Regiment is the successor regiment to the Sherwood Foresters, which in turn was the successor to the 95th Derbyshire Foot which served in the Crimea at the same time as Florence Nightingale. The service was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire and the Mayor of Derby.

We worked with the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen's Families Association which was established in 1878 to raise funds to help the families of those killed or seriously injured on military service. A collection was made for the Association at the Commemorative Service in the Cathedral and we also helped them with their fund raising activity at the Guild Hall on the day of the Service; they also had a stand at the Heritage Festival and we supported their fundraising event at the Guildhall on the day of the Service.

Our awareness campaign has been helped by significant local media coverage particularly on BBC East Midlands, Radio Derby, Derby Telegraph, and the Matlock Mercury, but also in the Peak Advertiser and on Peak FM, and not least in the Lea and Holloway Parish Magazine where we have had regular articles. We were also covered in a substantial travel article in the Daily Express which promoted our Trail Guides which are now available at Tourist Offices in Derby, Matlock, Matlock Bath, and Ashbourne.

Overall, we will have directly attracted nearly 14000 people to the events and activities which we have organised or supported, but this inevitably takes no account of the those who have learned about Florence Nightingale from the 14000 or of those watching TV, listening to the radio, or reading about her in the press. And, of course, there will be ongoing awareness through the Exhibition and the distribution of the Trail Guides.

Activities 2010