A MUSEUM charting the history of “one of the pivotal events in world history” says a funding shortage could force it to close.

Every year, Dr Edward Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden in Berkeley welcomes more than 5,000 visitors to the “birthplace of vaccination”.

The elegant 18th-century house is the former home of Berkeley’s most famous son, Dr Edward Jenner (1749-1823), whose pioneering work led to to the eradication of a feared disease, and to a future where vaccines continue to save millions of lives every year.

But now the museum’s manager, Owen Gower, says that if £20,000 cannot be raised by March 2019 it will have to shut down.

“In recent years, the maintenance of this historic building has placed a huge strain on our finances,” he said.

“And now we need to raise £20,000 by March 2019 to keep the museum open. It is so important to us, and we hope it will be important to the local community too.

“This is the site of one of the pivotal events in world history.

“It is the place where Edward Jenner pioneered vaccination.

“We tell the story of vaccination from 1796, when the first experiments were carried out by Jenner, all the way up to the1980s, when small pox was declared eradicated, the first disease to have been wiped out by human intervention.

“And we talk about how vaccines have continued to save millions of lives over the years.”

Now the museum team are launching a campaign to save the museum. To raise awareness of the impending closure, they are encouraging supporters to come along on October 20 at 10.45am for a photo call outside the building.

“We’d like people to join us, to show their support, as we try to get as many people as we can together for a photograph in front of the museum,” said Owen.

“We hope that this will demonstrate how much the museum means to people.”

Entry to the site will be free of charge on the day, various events and activities are planned, plus teas and cakes will be available.

“It will be a nice day out for the start of half-term,” said Owen.

As well as awareness raising, the team are keen to raise much the needed funds too.

Anyone who would like to donate can do so via: jennermuseum.com/together or by sending a cheque to the museum, payable to The Jenner Trust.