In April this year, the charitable work of the Friends of Fordingbridge Hospital sadly came to an end. To celebrate the remarkable support the group has shown the hospital over the last 67 years, brighterway and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust held a special event on Thursday 30 July 2015 at the hospital’s Ford Ward.
The event was well attended by the Friends, staff at the hospital and welcomed a guest appearance from local MP Desmond Swayne. Attendees enjoyed tea and coffee and a spread of food, including scones kindly donated by the local Co-op. During the event, Ann Hickman, Chairman of the Friends of Fordingbridge Hospital, cut the ribbon on one of the latest pieces of equipment donated by the group – a reinforced wheelchair and blood pressure monitor.
Over the years, the Friends have raised many thousands of pounds for the hospital and have used the money to purchase vital equipment, including bariatric and physiotherapy couches, an ECG machine, hospital beds, falls alarms, a beverage trolley and much more. They have also arranged entertainment for patients and organised volunteers to serve morning coffee and tend to the flowers on the ward.
Unfortunately, the group has been unable to recruit any new members and because of this it has reluctantly been forced to disband.
Ann Hickman, said: “Great credit is due to our members and the local community who have worked hard to support our hospital over the years. Their efforts have been very much appreciated.”
Andrew Clark, Head of Charity at brighterway, shared his thanks at the event and said: “The staff and patients at Fordingbridge Hospital have always been so grateful for the generous volunteering and financial support the Friends have provided over the years. It is with sadness to hear that the group will be ending.”
“For those who would like to carry on volunteering and fundraising for the hospital, we would like to invite them to get involved with the charitable work of Southern Health’s own charity, brighterway, which will continue to support Fordingbridge Hospital and the people it cares for.”