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PSS continues centenary celebrations with new display at Museum of Liverpool

PSS Person Shaped Support open Museum of Liverpool display

PSS continues centenary celebrations with new display at Museum of Liverpool

Liverpool social enterprise, PSS, continues its 100th birthday celebrations with the launch of a fascinating new display at Museum of Liverpool on the city’s iconic waterfront.


Unveiled this week and running until December 1, the display, created by local artist Sarah Nicholson, features three iconic PSS buildings on a map of the city, alongside over 100 figurines depicting those who have benefited from PSS’ numerous programmes since 1919. The display is supported by National Lottery Heritage Funding.


Founded in Liverpool by the iconic Eleanor Rathbone, PSS has led the way over the last 100 years, plugging the gaps in social care and making a huge impact on the lives of people up and down the country. From being the first organisation to introduce social workers to hospitals and work placements for social work students, to starting up well-known causes such as Age UK, Legal Aid, Riverside Housing and the Citizens’ Advice Bureau on Merseyside, PSS is no shrinking violet when it comes to helping people in their time of need, and it is still innovating and creating to this day.


Lesley Dixon, chief executive, said:


“Our special display at Museum of Liverpool really underlines how we’ve bridged the gaps in health and social care for so many people in the last 100 years, and how many lives we’ve touched in Liverpool and beyond. It shows just how much of a pioneer PSS has always been – and how we’ve always tried to take a fresh approach to tackle the issues. We’re incredibly grateful to have worked with Sarah Nicholson on this project. Her creative vision tells the PSS story in a really unique and visually exciting way, and hopefully allows visitors to the museum the opportunity to delve a little deeper into our proud history.”


Sarah Nicholson, artist, said:


“PSS means so much to people who have and continue to use its services – so it was with great honour to be asked to create a piece of art to mark the milestone Centenary celebration. The theme of the piece is ‘perspective’, celebrating how PSS has always found new ways to support people. I want the piece to highlight the many lives PSS has impacted over the years – from the staff to the people who use its services – and the personal journeys they have taken thanks to the help and support they have received from this wonderful organisation.”


Curator of Urban Community History at Museum of Liverpool, Kay Jones, commented:


“The Museum of Liverpool is delighted to display this wonderful artwork to help celebrate 100 years of PSS. The organisation has been an integral part of the innovative and pioneering history of the city and continues to help many people to get the best out of life today.”


A rebel with a cause since its beginning, today PSS has around twenty different services – from mental health services and rehabilitation services for women in the criminal justice system, to care for people with learning and physical disabilities and for families affected by addiction, plus its biggest service, Shared Lives, which PSS created in 1978. Now one of the biggest forms of social care in the UK, Shared Lives sees amazing yet ordinary people opening up their homes and their lives to support vulnerable adults and young people as part of their family; PSS is as revolutionary now as it was when it was first introduced.


The 100th birthday celebrations will continue in June with the premier of a specially-produced short film that will throw the spotlight on the company and all it has done since its formation, and a debate event looking at innovation in health and social care. Also in June, Lesley Dixon will participate in the Eleanor Rathbone Social Justice Public Lecture Series at University of Liverpool, to discuss “PSS: A Rebel with a Cause since 1919”.