Norwich was the second city in the country to have a children’s hospital (the first was London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children which opened in 1852).
The Norwich Infirmary for Sick Children admitted its first inpatients just two years later on 3 April 1854 thanks to the generosity of Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind.
Lind, nicknamed the “Swedish Nightingale”, was one of the most popular entertainers in mid-19th century Europe – you may have seen character feature recently in the hit film The Greatest Showman starring Hugh Jackman.
In 1847, she gave her first concerts in Norwich and they proved so popular that a third concert was arranged. The money raised from the Jenny Lind concerts were earmarked for a children’s hospital. A public meeting in 1853 unanimously endorsed the idea and in 1854 the hospital opened in Pottergate, Norwich.
In recent years, money raised for the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital has helped fund the children’s playground, virtual reality TV and games, a sensory room and many more items.