The Chair of Dr Jenner's Trust, Timothy Wallington, has made a heartfelt appeal for donations to save Dr Jenner's House, Museum and Garden from closure.
In a statement shared on social media, Mr Wallington said:
"I'm Chair of The Jenner Trust, the independent charity which runs Dr Jenner's House, Museum and Garden. We want to show how science can change the world for the better, inspiring visitors by telling the story of Edward Jenner and the pioneering of vaccination in the place 'where it happened'. Through our education programme we inspire young people to become the Edward Jenners of tomorrow. We are committed to lifelong learning and run a programme of events allowing our visitors to engage with contemporary researchers in the fields of science and history. We have an extensive archive on the history of disease eradication, which is open to all, and we also provide spaces for community and corporate use. Dr Jenner's House, Museum and Garden is a much-loved museum and, crucially, it tells a story which still has enormous relevance today.
"As you might imagine, all of this comes at a cost and in recent years the maintenance of the building has placed huge strain on our finances. Up until now we have been able to meet our annual deficit from our reserves, but this is no longer possible. If we are not able to raise £20,000 by March 2019 then sadly Dr Jenner's House, Museum and Garden will have to close and this hugely important site will no longer be accessible to the public.
"Today we are launching an international appeal to save Dr Jenner's House. If, like me, you believe that the world still needs to hear the story of Edward Jenner, can I please ask you to support our work with a regular donation? Your gift will help to ensure that Jenner's legacy will continue and that we can maintain this historically important house, collection and garden for future generations."
The charity is not in receipt of any regular public funding. The organisation is state on its website that it is currently pursuing a number of options to secure the long-term future of the site and reduce its reliance on charitable giving.
To find out how you can help, click here.