Liverpool social enterprise, PSS, is to mark its landmark 100th birthday in 2019 with a programme of initiatives and special surprises throughout the year, it has been revealed today.

The celebration kicks off later this month with the launch of a new exhibition at Museum of Liverpool. Thanks to National Lottery Heritage Funding, the exhibit will include a conceptual piece of art created by Liverpool artist, Sarah Nicholson, to mark the occasion. May will see the premier of a specially-produced short film that will throw the spotlight on PSS and the people who have helped shape its story through the decades. In June, PSS chief executive, 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”. And further into the summer a book of stories from PSS’s fascinating history will be released, followed by the first of two debate events later in the year, bringing together figureheads from the social care industry to talk about how to solve some of today’s biggest social problems.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg – expect even more announcements over the coming weeks and months!

Founded in Liverpool by the iconic Eleanor Rathbone in 1919, 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.

A rebel with a cause since its beginning, today PSS has around twenty different services – from mental health and rehabilitation 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, it 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.

Lesley Dixon, chief executive, said:

“Our history is profound, and the influence that PSS has had over the last 100 years in shaping social care in this country has been formidable, yet still we are probably Liverpool’s best untold story. As for Eleanor Rathbone, we think she is up there with The Beatles as being iconically Liverpool, but not many people know that she was the woman behind PSS. Our birthday celebration provides the perfect opportunity for us to tell our story – shout about the amazing things we have done over the decades and give a voice to the incredible people who use our services. Importantly, we will also set out our plans for the next 100 years – continuing to be innovative, pioneering and changing people’s lives for the better.”

To view PSS’s incredible 100-year timeline, visit Visit Twitter and Facebook – @PSSpeople #thebig100