Like many organisations, the Friends of DCH has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has affected the number of volunteers, which has drastically reduced, meaning services and activities have had to be curtailed. For long periods of 2020 and 2021 we had to completely close our hospital shop and when we reopened our sales were significantly lower and we now barely meet our overheads.
Therefore, after a great deal of consideration, the Trustees have made a very difficult decision and decided to close the Friends shop on 30 September, 2022.
However, this is not the end of the Friends. The Trustees have agreed to stay on and our manager Sharon Merritt, after working for the Friends for 22 years, will also become a Trustee.
We would like to see it as the Friends working in a different way and evolving. We already have some people doing fundraising on our behalf, including skydiving! We have recently set up a Just Giving page and hope we can get more people involved in fundraising on our behalf. It is more crucial than ever that we get more support from the local community so we can continue to support the hospital.
The Friends were established in 1956 with our aim to give comfort to patients, relatives and friends of Dorset County Hospital. Over the years we have donated over one million pounds to the hospital.
Examples of some of the funding includes £100,000 towards the minor surgical suite in the Cancer Unit, £78,000 on Elderly/Dementia Care, £25,000 for Gully’s Place in Kingfisher Children’s Ward, £25,000 Robert White Centre, £30,000 to Maternity, £40,000 on Scanners for both Rheumatology and Respiratory. We also fund lots of smaller items e.g. wheelchairs, heat pads, bladders scanners, children’s therapy toys and toys for Christmas, hearing aids, oximeters to name but a few.
We will continue to work closely with the hospital and have recently pledged £70,000 for equipment for the Critical Care Unit. We want to continue to raise vital funds so we can still make a difference to the hospital.
We are very grateful for all the support we have had over the last 66 years and hopefully we can continue to help the hospital with your support. We can still be contacted on our email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like any further information or interested in doing any fundraising on our behalf.
Find out more about the Friends of Dorset County Hospital here: friendsofdorsetcountyhospital.co.uk/