Happy birthday to ‘The Jenny’

This year The Norfolk and Norwich University hospital is celebrating 170 years of the Jenny Lind Children’s hospital. On 3 April 1854 the doors opened to its first young patients and a number of events are planned over the next few months to mark this anniversary year.

How will it be celebrated?

A glittering orchestral gala is taking place at St Peter Mancroft Church on Saturday 6 April when musicians from Norwich Sinfonietta will be performing children’s favourites Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, and Debussy’s Children’s Corner.

The event features professional sopranos Ella de Jongh and locally based Rebecca Kaznowski who will sing popular opera arias and oratorio, some written for Swedish Opera singer Jenny Lind herself by composers like Dvorak, Mozart and Mendelssohn.

The event will be narrated by actress Emma Laird Craig, a direct descendant of Jenny Lind.

All money raised will go to the N&N Hospitals Charity to raise funds for the latest campaign for parental accommodation at the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital. To buy tickets, visit Norwich Sinfonietta’s website.

Throughout the spring and the summer Paul Dickson is also running a series of Jenny Lind walking tours with unique opportunities to visit where the singer stayed and the remains of the first Children’s Hospital in Norwich. Paul is donating ticket proceeds from two walks to JLCH and will invite donations on all walks.

Tours can be booked now by clicking here.


Tom Spink, NNUH Chair said: “The Jenny has grown into a renowned specialist centre with services dedicated purely to children and young people. It is now a massive concern with dedicated paediatric physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychology and dietetic teams providing a holistic approach to paediatric care. Our paediatric team is also involved in international collaborations, with established strong links to the UEA, and the Quadram Institute, which further enables us to provide that specialist care.”

Richard England, NNUH Paediatric Consultant Surgeon and keen Jenny Lind historian added: “We mark this anniversary to take the opportunity to remember the legacy of Jenny Lind and to celebrate the subsequent development of paediatric care across the East of England. I look forward to seeing supporters of The Jenny throughout the year.”

Julie Cooper, Head of Charity, said: “Some of our children can be in hospital for weeks or even months at a time, with some of our young patients coming from other counties, including Suffolk and Essex, so having somewhere to stay close by can make a huge difference at such a worrying time.”