Hospital fundraisers making a difference

John Coupland Hospital charity committee G120320-4
John Coupland Hospital charity committee G120320-4

IT’s the little comforts that make all the difference to a stay in hospital.

The chance for loved ones to ring you on the ward, awnings to keep the sun off you while you get some fresh air on the patio, and a TV to watch.

Anyone staying in Gainsborough’s John Coupland Hospital can rest assured such needs have already been taken care of, thanks to a small but dedicated group of fundraisers.

The JCH Charities Fund Committee was set up in 2003 with the sole purpose of raising money to buy all those extras for patients.

Treasurer David Lomas, who has been on the committee since it began, said: “We started out by saying we would never buy anything that the NHS should provide.”

“But that has been softened over time. If there is something needed by the Primary Care Trust and we can afford to buy it then we will consider it.”

“We recently spent £2,000 on chairs for one of the rehabilitation centres and new wheelchairs, we also bought opthamology equipment.”

The committee has 11 members, two of which are also hospital staff. The hospital’s two matrons are ex-officio members.

Eleanor Ward is manager of Scotter Ward and committee vice-chairman Elaine Cooper is a phlebotomist in out-patients.

Eleanor said the committee was ‘fundamentally important’ to patients and staff.

“Without them there are lots of things we would go without and it’s good to know the patients have the support of this group,” she said.

“It’s the difference between an adequate and satisfactory service and a supreme service. It’s the nice little comforts that make a difference between four star and two star.”

Those little comforts bought by the committee have included a telephone trolley, radios and CD players for the physio department, a microwave, and a TV and video for children to watch while they are waiting.

They have also bought tools and seeds for use in a greenhouse which is used as therapy for patients.

Chairman Brenda Allen said: “We always buy Christmas presents for the patients and prizes for their games of bingo.”

“I’ve been an in-patient here and it’s a facility we need to keep. This is an excellent, spotless hospital and we get great support from the people of Gainsborough. As soon as we say we are fundraising for the hospital, people donate straightaway.”

Committee members raise around £1,000 a year. The main fundraising event is an annual concert which this year will be held on 27th April and for the first time will be held at Queen Elizabeth High School. It will feature the school’s two choirs and swing band.

Tea dances are held in Morton Village Hall every fourth Thursday at 2pm, the next one being on 12th April, and quizzes are held in the hospital.

Several new members have recently joined the committee following an appeal by David in the Standard. One of them is Jeanette Goring, who said: “I decided to volunteer because it’s a lovely hospital and I think it needs supporting.”

Anyone interested in volunteering or making a donation to the committee fund can do so by ringing secretary Rachel Lane on 01427 816558.