League of Friends

Many of our community hospitals are supported by leagues of friends; raising money, helping to provide extras for patients, visitors and sometimes staff, as well as providing volunteers.

Members of leagues provide varied services including tea trolleys, tea bars, library trolleys, fundraising events, shops in hospitals, befriending, providing transport home from hospital and helping in cafes. Local residents can join the leagues in a supporting role, they do not necessarily have to be a committee member or active volunteer.

If you would like to find out more about the league for your nearest community hospital please click on the links below. You can join as a committee member, fundraiser or volunteer.

Find out more about some of them below.

Edenbridge Hospital League of Friends

In the more than 60 years since it was created, the league of friends has raised and spent more than £1.5 million.

This money provides additional hospital facilities, equipment and comforts for patients and staff. In the past year, the league has spent £8,500 on patient hoists, a defibrillator for community use and a vital signs monitor for the outpatients department. It has also spent about £7,000 on providing two hot drinks machines and ingredients – one for the ward and one for the waiting room.

Newspapers and magazines are provided free in the ward and replaced daily.

Other items that have been bought over the past few years include: A tropical fish tank, a TV and CD player, a piano keyboard and a games console for the Astor Room – the ward’s day room – where nursing and rehabilitation staff use the equipment to motivate patients, helping to prepare them for a return to independent or assisted living. The room is also available to those visiting inpatients.

You can help the hospital, patients and hard-working hospital staff by joining the Edenbridge Hospital League of Friends. Minimum annual subscription is just £5 and a regular free newsletter will keep you in touch. You can get an application form at www.ehlof.org.uk or by phoning 01959 564859.

Friends of Whitstable and Tankerton Hospital and Healthcare

This is a voluntary organisation and registered charity, which supports primary healthcare in the Whitstable area by raising money for items of equipment and patient amenities, as well as carrying out voluntary duties.

At Whitstable and Tankerton Hospital, volunteers organise a trolley shop and library service for patients, assist at mealtimes and help with flower arranging and gardening duties. Volunteers also visit patients who may not have a relative or friend living nearby.

In the community, volunteers visit people being looked after at home or in residential care and support relatives and carers. Social opportunities, such as teas, outings and lunches are organised, as well as monthly Sing for Your Life sessions and fortnightly dementia support cafe afternoons. The cafe at Estuary View Medical Centre is managed and run by the friends. If you would like to help or would like to know more about the services provided, phone 01227 594636.

Sheppey Community Hospital League of Friends

The league of friends was set up in 1975 to raise funds to buy medical equipment for patients and staff that was not provided by the NHS.

Over the years, it has spent more than £100,000 on the hospital. This was raised by coffee mornings, strawberry teas and summer fetes. Donations are also sometimes made.

Every penny collected is spent on equipment, nothing else.

For more information phone Margaret Blee on 01795 877837 or write to her at Coralita, Scocles Road, Minster on Sea, Sheerness, Kent ME12 3SD.

Sittingbourne Memorial and Community League of Friends

The league of friends supports patients at Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital, Southlands, the Frank Lloyd Unit and in the community. Its main activity is raising money to provide extras that benefit patients – at the hospital and through community nursing services, such as midwives, school nurses and community nurses.

The league also looks after the memorial hospital’s courtyard gardens and is always looking for volunteers willing to give their time for a couple of hours each week.

Generally, money is raised by book and bric-a-brac sales. Goods are donated and then sold. Donations are also received from family and friends of patients and from bequests.

All money raised or donated is spent in conjunction with advice from hospital specialists. The league, which is a registered charity, wants to help to promote good health for all of Sittingbourne’s residents, whether they are babies or older people.

If you have some time to spare during the day, you could help at the league’s regular book and bric-a-brac sales; two hours on a day that is convenient for you. Find out more by phoning 01795 418300, ext. 3008, emailing kestral44@tiscali.co.uk or by writing to Voluntary Services Manager, Sittingbourne Memorial Hospital, Bell Road, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 4DT.

Tonbridge Cottage Hospital League of Friends

The league of friends, with money raised by fundraising, donated money and legacies, provides the hospital with equipment and services which the NHS cannot normally supply.

It also often helps the hospital in a voluntary capacity.

If you would like more information, you can write to David Goodridge at Beechwood, Foxhole Lane, Matfield, Tonbridge, Kent TN12 7ES or email david@tch-lof.org.uk