16-year-old Norfolk fundraiser stars alongside famous faces in new Rankin exhibition celebrating 75 years of NHS charities
A former patient of the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital is featuring alongside comedian Michael Palin and England footballer Jordan Henderson in a new exhibition from Rankin and NHS Charities Together, celebrating 75 years of NHS charities.
16-year-old Evie Youngs from Norfolk was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2022, and since then has fundraised almost £8,000 for the N&N Hospitals Charity and the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital which cared for her, and next year celebrates its 170th birthday.
Thanks to her incredible fundraising efforts, Evie is one of 14 people starring in ‘Love and Charity: A History of Giving in the NHS’ – a new exhibition which celebrates the vital role charities have played throughout the health service’s history, ahead of the NHS’ 75th anniversary on 5th July. All portraits – including Evie’s – will be displayed at the Saatchi gallery in London from 31st May- 11th June.
Led by NHS Charities Together, the national charity caring for the NHS, and internationally renowned photographer Rankin, the exhibition features new portraits of NHS staff, patients and volunteers who all have a powerful personal connection to NHS charities. Evie was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma aged 15 and, having received incredible care from the NHS, wanted to do something to thank staff who had helped her throughout her diagnosis and treatment journey.
Evie – who has now made a full recovery – said: “When I rang the end of treatment bell it was really emotional – all the nurses who had cared for me were there, and it felt so good to see them after everything they’d done for me. I decided to fundraise because I just wanted to thank the staff for all the help they had given me. They make you so comfortable at such a terrible time and were honestly like family. The hospital became like my second home.
“Fundraising lifted my spirits and gave me something to concentrate on beside my cancer, but I never thought we would raise as much as we have. I feel really proud that I’ve been able to help other children and give something back.”
Remarkably, the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital only exists thanks to another great fundraiser – 19th century opera singer and philanthropist Jenny Lind, who was recently made famous through Rebecca Ferguson’s portrayal in The Greatest Showman. The Beyonce of her day, Lind visited Norwich to perform regularly from 1847, and each time her arrival saw crowds lining the streets, church bells ringing and even gun salutes.
Based at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, the hospital has continued to have a long-term impact to this present day. Staff treat more than 60,000 children a year, with services including cancer care, children’s surgery, treatments for diabetes, respiratory illnesses, allergies, urinary and bowel conditions, plus care for sick and premature babies.
There are over 230 NHS charities in the UK, and together they help our health service go further than would be possible with government funding alone. They fund innovative research and pioneering new technologies, accommodation and support to make hospital feel less like hospital, and extra services so more of us can access better care.
Rankin, who has photographed the likes of the Queen, David Bowie, Madonna and Kate Moss, adds: “The thing I’ve learned from all these people is how much of a massive contribution NHS charities make to the national health service. You don’t realise the scale of support that’s out there – they fund research and new technologies, accommodation and support for patients, and extra services so more of us can access better care. I used to work in the NHS but honestly had no idea, and it really has been eye opening.”
Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive at NHS Charities Together, said: “It’s been incredibly inspiring meeting Evie, and hearing her story. 75 years after the NHS was founded, charity support has never been more important, and with your help we can continue to help the NHS for generations to come. On 5 July, you can support the charity that means the most to you and celebrate 75 years of the NHS by hosting an NHS Big Tea party. We hope some of these stories show the astonishing impact one person’s generosity can have.”
Julie Cooper, Head of Grants at N&N Hospitals Charity, said: “We are so grateful to everyone who helps us to support better care at our NHS hospitals. Evie, who was one of our Charity Champions last year, has been an absolute inspiration. We thank Evie together with her family and friends for the incredible support they have given to our Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital.”
‘Love and Charity: A History of Giving in the NHS’ will be exhibited at the Saatchi gallery in London from 31 May to 11 June and is free to the public.
Read how you can support your local NHS charity.