Nusrat Ghani MP remembers Mildmay's Helen Taylor Thompson for International Women's Day 2021.
"Helen Taylor Thompson lived in the village of Nutley and, unfortunately, I had to attend her funeral last year. When Helen was around, she was wonderful in providing me with cups of tea and bits of cake. The reason why she is so important that, at the age of 19, she signed the Official Secrets Act and began working for the Special Operations Executive, but she did not stop there.
Later on, she raised over £3 million and set up the UK's first hospice caring for people with AIDS-related illnesses.
It was the hospice where the late Princess of Wales hugged or shook hands with a Mildmay patient, helping to break the taboo and stigma around HIV and AIDS. I wonder whether, if Helen Taylor Thompson had been a man, all of us would know her name? But she was a woman, and I want to put her name on record today."
Helen Taylor Thompson with Diana, Princess of Wales, during one of her many visits to Mildmay.