I was sent some information last month about an exhibition in Leeds City Museum that celebrates 40 faces of St Gemma’s Hospice in the charity’s 40th anniversary year.

My intention was to go and have a look round the exhibition and then blog about it but I’ve not been in the city centre much recently and on the few occasions I have been, I’ve always been in such a rush. I want to promote the exhibition though so have posted the press release below. Please excuse my lazy “cut and paste” blogging! Hopefully I will make it to the museum before the exhibition closes on the 23 September.

40 people representing the work of St Gemma’s Hospice have had their portraits captured by photographer Olivia Hemingway as part of a thought-provoking new project to mark the charity’s 40th year. The ‘40 Faces of St Gemma’s Hospice’ exhibition, now open at Leeds City Museum, shares the heartfelt stories of patients, families, volunteers and staff.  

This exhibition goes behind the scenes of St Gemma’s Hospice to reveal the sometimes surprising and heart-warming truth about hospice care. The powerful portraits demonstrate strong feelings of hope, love, happiness, humour and bravery.

One of the people featured is India, a teenager whose mum Karen was a patient at the Hospice last year. India shared her story about spending time with her mum at St Gemma’s Hospice. India said: “The Hospice wasn’t what I expected, it was lovely. We had a few Saturday nights in St Gemma’s. We sat there one Saturday and I did all mum’s make-up and we had a movie night.”

India’s story, like many of the others, shows a side of St Gemma’s that people may not expect. The Hospice works hard to make family life as normal as possible and also provides bereavement support to patients’ families.

Photographer Olivia Hemingway from West Yorkshire specialises in portraits and her work focuses on people’s lives in everyday surroundings. Olivia photographed the 40 Faces in places that were special to them and sometimes with objects that helped to tell their unique story.

The exhibition is suitable for all ages and is free to visit Tuesday – Sunday at Leeds City Museum from Tuesday 26 June to Sunday 23 September.

To discover more or support St Gemma’s Hospice visit www.st-gemma.co.uk/40Faces


About St Gemma’s Hospice

St Gemma’s Hospice is the largest hospice in Yorkshire and one of the largest in England. It provides the best possible care and quality of life for local people with cancer and other life threatening illnesses. It’s a friendly, warm and safe place at the heart of the local community with a large range of expert services to support patients, their families and friends.

St Gemma’s Hospice welcomes and provides care for people from all faiths and those with no faith or religion. The staff focus care around the needs of the individual and are respectful of all beliefs, religions and cultures. The Hospice provides In-Patient care but is not just a building; patients are supported in the place they want to stay – often their own homes. 

The services provided by St Gemma’s Hospice are free of charge to patients, families and carers, but are not free to provide. The running costs of St Gemma’s Hospice are forecast to be over £10 million this year. The majority of this needs to be raised through donations, legacies, fundraising initiatives and our chain of charity shops.

St Gemma’s Hospice is rooted in the local community and would not be able to care for local people with life threatening illnesses without the public’s valuable and ongoing support.