Today marks 150 years of BHSF making a difference to the lives of working people across the UK.
We were founded in 1873 by the eminent surgeon, Joseph Sampson Gamgee and can trace our history back to The Birmingham Hospital Saturday Fund, set up to help Birmingham hospitals and medical charities.
It was Gamgee and his later successors who galvanised the working people of Birmingham at the time and pioneered the concept of the Hospital Saturday – one day a year on which workers were encouraged to contribute overtime to a central Hospital Saturday Fund.
Those contributions directly supported workers access to health care before the advent of the National Health Service, and later provided access to our services such as convalescence. We later developed into the provision of health insurance and have since grown to be a nationwide occupational health, mental health, and wellbeing services provider.
Our longevity reflects our ability to understand and anticipate the needs of our clients and wider society, innovating and adapting in response to a changing world.
Today BHSF is a market-leading health and wellbeing provider, supporting public and private sector businesses across the UK, helping our customers keep their employees physically, mentally, and financially healthy. Our Group CEO Heidi Stewart shares her pride in today’s milestone:
We were born to make a difference to ordinary working people back in March 1873 and we have been a business for good ever since.
“We are extremely proud of our philanthropic roots and as a not-for-profit organisation in 2023, this remains a very powerful message. It helps us to plough more value back into products and services that support employers faced with helping their teams navigate through a complex set of health concerns, not least because of the worsening workplace mental health crisis.”
“Maintaining a successful business for 150 years takes more than pride and heritage. Our future vision of being the UK’s leading provider of health and wellbeing services will rely on this same commitment to innovation, enabling us to make it simple for everyone to access the right healthcare support, at the right time, in a way that works for them.”
To mark our anniversary, we will be celebrating our customers, our people and our partners, reflecting on our rich heritage and legacy, but also looking forwards to how we leverage these strong values in the future.
We’ll be sharing more news here on our blog channel and across our socials on The Big 150 Pledge. This special CSR initiative is being launched in our celebratory year to champion and support causes that mean something to each individual within our business and creating a wider fundraising legacy to mark this significant year.