Her work with John Coupland Hospital came along as a surprise to Brenda

Carol Andrews from the Co-op and Brenda Allen, current chairman of fund.
Carol Andrews from the Co-op and Brenda Allen, current chairman of fund.

For the last 11 years, Brenda Allen has been involved with the John Coupland Hospital charity fund committee.

Brenda, 75, had been retired for 13 years when she was invited to the join the committee.

Brenda said: “People knew me from my work as warden and previously deputy warden for a total of 13 years, at Pillared House.

“It seemed to be a way of continuing my involvement with care and found a way of meeting new friends as was alone as all children had left home.”

Brenda said the biggest challenge she has being part of the committee is putting her face “above the parapet.”

She said: “Although I felt I was fairly successful on a one to one basis this pushed me to deal with people on a wider scale.

“Strangely I am a rather private person, suddenly pushed into public role when elected chairman.

The whole idea of joining the committee came as a surprise to Brenda but she said she enjoyed the work and sje said was even able to encourage a friend to join them to help.

Brenda said: “My biggest achievement within the job, was the tree planting to mark the work of John Coupland Hospital during World War One.

“The basic idea was mine and, with the full committee, we worked to bring it to a bigger event than we dared to imagine and bring both hospital and committee’s work and existence to public awareness .”

Brenda is 75-years-old and has four children, eight children and a great grandson.

Brenda said: “I was on my own for 20 years but now have a new partner with a bright future for my old age.

“I was born in Kent and was much of a nomad all my life.

“Starting out as an evacuee in 1942 I continued moving around until coming to East Stockwith in 1978 and at last put down roots.”

Brenda says her ambitions for the future are to “keep alive without beeing too much of a nuisance and being of use.”

The AGM of the John Coupland Hospital Charity fund was held on January 18, and the committee felt they had a successful year.

Chairman Colin Stubley reported that the residents from Hastings House enjoyed being able to work in the Hospital grounds, once a week and the committee agreed to give them a monetary gift to buy something for their home, and sent their thanks as the gardens are starting to look really nice after getting so much attention.

Brenda said the four weekly ballroom tea dance is flourishing and raised £724. Almost all the dancers come from outside the Gainsborough area but aside from the monies raised at the dance they join in other fund raising events, regularly bringing jar of coppers for the jam Jar collection, which this year raised £125.

Brenda said expenditure this year was mostly for small but needed items bigger items. These included a new Phlebotomy chair for £1,170, Patio Furniture for Scotter Ward balcony for £828 and a Christmas tree for reception, decorations and gifts and edible treats for patients on the ward over Christmas,

Brenda said: “We were told they appreciated this very much.”

Among other donations for 2015 and 2016 there was £500 from the Gainsborough Lodge of Masons, £152 from the Sturton Line dancers raffle and proceeds from some larger donated prizes which were sold in silent auction £134.

During the meeting the new committee was elected with Colin Stubley remaining in chair, Jeanette Goring, Treasurer, Helen Goring, Secretary, Elaine Cooper, Vice Chairman and Brenda Allen, press secretary.

The rest of the nominated members were reelected and new to the committee was Honorary Chairman, Wendy Coffey.

Brenda said: “The committee is now looking for requests from departments to make patients or staff’s life easier.”