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Manchester Royal Infirmary Nurses’ Fellowship (Registered Charity No. 510418)

Welcome to the Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) Nurses’ Fellowship Home Page.  Established in 1949 the Fellowship has approximately 300 members and celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2019. It provides an opportunity for registered nurses who have trained at or held a nursing appointment within the MRI and associated hospitals to meet and to celebrate the history and heritage of nursing at this important hospital.

New members are always welcome, please contact member secretary Dame Betty Kershaw (address below) for an application form or information.

To contact any of the officers the please write in the first instance to Professor Kershaw.

Typically in April, the Fellowship holds an annual reunion on or close to the MRI campus. This includes a general meeting, an interdenominational service, a lecture, opportunities to meet and to talk in small groups over refreshments and a lunch.   All the activities are optional and fellows come and go to those they prefer, alternating with catching up with friends.

The COVID 19 situation has meant the cancellation of face to face events until further notice.

See the Facebook Page – comments and links welcome

Annual General Meeting and Reunion

In 2021 the Annual General Meeting and Reunion would normally be at or around the end of April, but a decision on this will be notified to members nearer the time. As of January 2021 we were in quite a heavy lockdown and very few people vaccinated as yet so we would not expect anything face to face until much later in the year.

Each year a journal is produced with photographs and articles by fellows with the latest news about members and contributions are always welcomed by the current Editor Nigel Booth.

The fellowship endeavours to preserve artefacts, documents and photographs which chart the history of the MRI and its nurses, and as a charity it strives as far as possible within its resources to aid fellows who may be in need.

The Fellowship’s Benevolent Fund has recently benefited from a substantial legacy and in recognition of this will now become the Elspeth Thompson Memorial Fund.


The Fellowship has regularly, and in complete confidence,  been able to support alumni by means of its benevolent fund, for example in the adaptation of showers and stairlifts for those with mobility difficulties.  Fellows can also be supported to attend the reunion if they have mobility or other relevant issues. The Fellowship has also supported small clinical development projects and is currently examining wider ways to do this.

Manchester Royal Infirmary Coasters

At members’ request we have arranged for the production of MRI Slate Drinks Coasters, made of 400 Million Years Old Slate. These are available at cost price (£5.00 for a box of four).

Executive Committee Officers

President: Miss Pauline Hewitt

Hon Secretary: Mrs Kathryn Thonet

Honorary Treasurer: Mrs Carol Helmer

Honorary Editor: Nigel Booth

Membership Secretary: Dame Betty Kershaw, 13, Fairfax Avenue, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 6AJ

The Annual Reunion Day is to be confirmed in due course


Frequently Asked Questions

What does the MRI Nurses’ Fellowship do?

  • It promotes the interests of MRI Nurses
  • It maintains a network of MRI Fellows
  • It helps preserve and develop the history of nursing at the MRI
  • It supports Fellows who may be in need through a benevolent fund
  • It supports the continued education of Fellows through a Scholarship Fund

Who can join?

a) All trainees and registered nurses who hold the Certificate of the Manchester Royal Infirmary, and from 1954 the Certificate of the United Manchester Hospitals and from the 1 May 1965 all trainees who hold the United Manchester Hospital Certificate of the Enrolled Nurses School.

b) Those Registered Nurses who hold or have held a permanent nursing appointment at the Hospital. The recent merger of the NHS Trust which manages Manchester Royal Infirmary with other major hospitals and facilities in Manchester will mean some redefinition of eligibility which will be undertaken as quickly as possible.

c) Certain people not directly eligible but with close association with the Hospital may be invited to join the Fellowship subject to the approval of the Executive Committee and be known as Friends of the Fellowship.

How can I join?

By contacting Carol Helmer as above.

What comes with membership?

  • The opportunity to meet old friends and colleagues
  • The chance to help preserve an important heritage of high quality nursing
  • The chance to influence the aims and activities of the Fellowship
  • The Nurses’ Fellowship Journal which keeps members up to date with Fellows’ activities. If you have any news or ideas contact Nigel Booth as above.
  • Possible support for professional development activity and
  • Access to the Fellowship’s Elspeth Thompson Memorial Benevolent Fund: For application and award criteria please contact Pauline Hewitt as above

What do I do if my membership lapsed?

This happens to many of us. It’s no problem. Just contact the membership secretary as above.