Appeals: Macintyre Care restoring the German Hospital in east London

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A 19th-century photograph of patients in the Children's Ward at the German Hospital, in Hackney, east London. The hospital, which was founded in 1845, was taken out of National Health Service use in the 1980s, and has since fallen into disrepair. The charity Macintyre Care is working with Hackney Borough Council to restore the hospital buildings, which will be reopened in winter 1995 as a vocational training and social centre for people with learning disabilities. Government, EU and council grants, and corporate sponsorship, will cover part of the initial cost: Macintyre Care is appealing for the balance of pounds 690,000.

The German Hospital was set up by Anglo-German businessmen to meet the needs of native Germans living in London, who were not qualified to receive treatment in the voluntary hospital network of the day. It was initially staffed by nurses from the Protestant lay order of the Kaiserwerth Institute in Dusseldorf, and maintained a tradition of employing German doctors and nurses.

Macintyre Care aims to provide daily places for 60 to 70 people. It is hoped that some of the training centres will become partially self-financing. The catering department, for example, will operate within the centre's refectory, preparing and selling food to visitors; and the weaving and craft workshop will produce rugs and tapestries for sale. The centre's facilities, including the education department and library, will be open to Hackney residents, providing valuable services to one of the most deprived areas of Britain.

The history of the German Hospital will be detailed in a mini-museum within the centre. Old hospital equipment will be on display, along with archive pictures and drawings. Macintyre Care aims to renew the tradition of having German helpers on site by providing living accommodation within the centre for vocational teaching trainees.

For further information, contact: Macintyre Care Appeal Office, 19 Elrington Road, London E8 3BJ, telephone 071-241 6950.

(Photograph omitted)