Hospital charity to stop operating after over 30 years of fundraising
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A charity which has raised nearly £2m for a hospital is to stop operating after more than 35 years.
The James Paget University Hospital League of Friends will be disbanding at the end of the month after it was told it would have to relocate its foyer shop at the Gorleston hospital.
The shop is to make way for a new M&S as part of plans to revamp the foyer, including the creation of a new cafe.
Heather Cave, former chairman of the friends, said the hospital had offered three alternative locations for the charity shop,
but none were viable fundraising-wise.
She said: “As you can imagine the members of the League of Friends are devastated by the news. May we take this opportunity of thanking most sincerely the public for their extremely generous support, both in donations of goods for the league to sell, and in support of the shop.
“A special thank you to the excellent knitters, soft toy makers, blanket makers, shawl makers and the donations of books and other saleable items over the 30 years we have worked in the hospital foyer.
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“We would not have been able to be as generous or supportive to the needs of the patients and hospital departments as we have without this public support.”
Bosses at the James Paget say they are working to create new commercial premises as part of a wider programme of enhancements to catering arrangements.
The re-development work will also involve the expansion of the emergency department.
Mark Flynn, director of finance, said: “The new catering facility will be developed at no cost to the trust and will provide a source of income that will be used to support healthcare at our hospital.
“These changes do mean that the League of Friends’ current shop will be closing.
“We have discussed this with the Friends and alternative fundraising office accommodation has been offered on site although they have informed us that they will not be taking this offer up.
“In these financially challenged times there is more focus on generating income to support patient care; we also want to ensure the development of our emergency department enables us to meet the demand being seen from patients.”