Media Release

Fresh plea to help vital QEH support by League of Friends

Some people are taken aback when they learn how much money is raised by The League of Friends of the King’s Lynn Area Hospitals. On average it’s £90,000 per year; millions of pounds over its 65-year existence.

That’s a huge amount of support with the purchase of essential equipment for the Trust. In the last financial year, purchases totalled £189,603, with the largest single cost being £50,050 for a machine used in orthopaedics on extremities such as hands and feet to provide images to rival standard X-rays.

League of Friends' Carol Akers and Kay Blackwell
League of Friends volunteers (from left) Carol Akers and Kay Blackwell on the tills in the shop.

By far the biggest source of income for The League of Friends is its shop near the main entrance to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital – and a fresh plea is being issued for volunteers to cover shifts. There are 42 people on the books currently but with the shop open seven days a week and each midweek day having three shifts covering 12 hours there is always a requirement for plenty of pairs of hands.

Judy Fuller, chair of the shop committee, said: “For many volunteers, it’s a big part of their life and for some it’s a lifeline. We currently have people aged from their 40s to their 80s, including couples.

“Even if people are only able to offer to help with a couple of shifts we’d love to hear from them.

“It’s a lovely atmosphere to be part of and it’s nice to know you are doing something good. You feel proud that you are raising all that money.”

League of Friends' Kay Blackwell
Kay Blackwell restocking the shop’s shelves.

The shop’s most popular items are food and drink – including filled rolls delivered daily. It also sells newspapers, stationery, toiletries and donated items such as books, knitted baby clothes and handmade key rings.

The League of Friends was founded in 1953, not long after the establishment of the NHS and it originally gave support to four premises in and round King’s Lynn – St James’s Hospital, the West Norfolk and King’s Lynn General Hospital, a chest hospital in Hardwick Road and a convalescence home in Stow Bardolph.

Former committee chair Pat Roome (90) has been with the League of Friends since its formation. Another long server – secretary Carol Crake, who is close to completing 50 years on the committee – has a “blood car” named after her. It’s one of four vehicles purchased by the League to transport blood supplies.

Other notable support includes kickstarting the appeal for the first CAT scanner with a £10,000 donation and making a big contribution towards the establishment of The Roxburgh Children’s Centre.

One fundraising event which has been a permanent figure since day one of the League of Friends is the Christmas Dinner Table Appeal. Each year households across the majority of areas covered by the hospital are asked to make cash donations via envelopes collected on the doorstep.

Last year the appeal brought in £8,000. More volunteers are required to ensure it continues to be an important source of revenue.

Anybody who can volunteer help with the appeal, shifts in the shop or transferring stock from its storage site within the hospital should email Carol at carolcrake@sky.com

League of Friends (from left) shop committee chairman Judy Fuller, Sue CookClark and committee treasurer Carol Crake
Committee members (from left) Judy Fuller, Sue Cook and Carol Crake on the QEH fundraising stall.

—ENDS—

Main photo caption: The committee: Back (from left) – Sue Cook, Colin Beckett, Mavis Beckett, Sarah Dennis, Phyllis Overson, Marion Milsom, Mary Hamilton, Peter Mounsey (seated), Pat Roome; front – Penny Hipkin, Tom Greenacre, Carol Crake and Margaret Mounsey. Missing from the picture is Judy Fuller.

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