Hospital heroes call it a day

ONE of the oldest hospital league of friends in Nottinghamshire has this week handed over its final donation.

Bulwell’s Highbury Hospital League of Friends, which dates back to the 1950s, has been forced to close because of a lack of interest.

First established in 1955, the League of Friends have raised tens of thousands of pounds for equipment at the hospital on Highbury Road.

One of their major annual fundraising events was a garden party held in the grounds of the hospital, which used to attract hundreds of visitors, and also featured marching bands and a beautiful baby contest.

Jackie Jackson, chairman and secretary of the League of Friends, said that despite the group’s best efforts, they had found it difficult to attract new members.

“Over the last five or six years, we’ve tried to get more help and to ask for more volunteers.,” said Jackie. “We’ve co-opted various people over the years just so we can keep going but unfortunately we’re not able to.

“In 1976 before I started, the group were struggling to get people to join so to get to 2012, I think we’ve done quite well,” she added.

“A lot of the local businesses and companies that have helped us over the years are no more and some of the local companies used to be very, very good in supporting us.

“It is quite sad that we are not going to continue but we have had a good run of almost 60 years.

“We’d just like to tell people, especially local people, that everything that has been raised has gone to something which is of benefit to the patients.

“It has made such a difference to so many people. Thank you to everyone who has supported us.”

Funds raised by the League of Friends have been used for a variety of items and facilities at the hospital, from electrical equipment such as TVs and DVD players, to a new kitchen and even a day room.

Each year, the League of Friends also made sure that every patient in the hospital received a gift at Christmas, so that they had a present to open on Christmas morning.

The group raised money through donations and a variety of events, including dances.

Yesterday (Thursday) the League of Friends handed over their final donation of £6,000 to the Maples Occupational Therapy Unit at the hospital.