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Charity ends more than 30 years serving at hospital

PUBLISHED: 17:02 13 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:02 13 July 2018

Retail area manager, Paul Ritchie, with some of the volunteers and staff at the RVS charity shop at the James Paget University Hospital which is to close after 30 years due to a major hospital revamp. From left, Margaret Heath, Anne Burton, Mary Besford, and Rosemary Rickard. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Retail area manager, Paul Ritchie, with some of the volunteers and staff at the RVS charity shop at the James Paget University Hospital which is to close after 30 years due to a major hospital revamp. From left, Margaret Heath, Anne Burton, Mary Besford, and Rosemary Rickard. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Archant

There was a sad end of an era at a hospital this afternoon when a charity closed its shop and ward trolley services after more than 30 years.

Retail area manager, Paul Ritchie, with some of the volunteers and staff at the RVS charity shop at the James Paget University Hospital which is to close after 30 years due to a major hospital revamp. From left, Margaret Heath, Anne Burton, Mary Besford, and Rosemary Rickard. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYRetail area manager, Paul Ritchie, with some of the volunteers and staff at the RVS charity shop at the James Paget University Hospital which is to close after 30 years due to a major hospital revamp. From left, Margaret Heath, Anne Burton, Mary Besford, and Rosemary Rickard. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Royal Voluntary Service has ended its services at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston due to plans to revamp the building’s foyer to improve facilities for patients, visitors and staff.

The hospital is revamping catering services, including a M&S, and improving its accident and emergency department.

Before the closure the charity’s retail area manager, Paul Ritchie, visited the team of dozens of volunteers to thank them.

As he thanked them he also said the charity would be working with volunteers to see if the hospital can use them in others ways or see if they can play another role in their communities.

Mr Ritchie said: “We are very sad to be saying goodbye to our shop and on ward trolley service, which have been run by our wonderful staff and volunteers for more than three decades.

“Far more than just providing somewhere for patients, staff and visitors to purchase food, drinks, newspapers and everyday essentials, over the years, our volunteers and staff have provided much kindness, a listening ear and a helping hand to thousands of people staying and working in the hospital.

“It’s the end of a long and very happy era. We cannot thank our volunteers enough for the time they have donated to running the popular services and for the important contribution they have made to life within James Paget over the last 30 years.”

Mark Flynn, director of finance at the hospital, said: “The decision to re-develop our front foyer is driven by a need to replace ageing facilities and will involve the expansion of our emergency department and a number of new developments designed to enhance the facilities offered to patients.

“We recognise that the RVS has provided our patients, visitors and staff with a valued service over many years, and we are grateful for the work of the RVS volunteers.”

Due to the revamp the James Paget University Hospital League of Friends, which also had a foyer shop, folded in April.

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