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Charity volunteers told to leave hospital after more than 30 years of service

PUBLISHED: 15:19 26 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:33 27 April 2018

The WRVS shop in Gorleston's James Paget Hospital shop is closing to make way for the new look foyer. Photo: Liz Coates

The WRVS shop in Gorleston's James Paget Hospital shop is closing to make way for the new look foyer. Photo: Liz Coates

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A charity has been left “devastated” after it was told it would have to stop operating at the James Paget University Hospital due to major improvement work.

The WRVS shop in Gorleston's James Paget Hospital shop is closing to make way for the new look foyer. Photo: Liz CoatesThe WRVS shop in Gorleston's James Paget Hospital shop is closing to make way for the new look foyer. Photo: Liz Coates

Volunteers and staff who run the Royal Voluntary Service’s foyer shop and ward trolley service have been told by bosses at the Gorleston hospital they have to leave by July 25 - ending more than 30 years of being at the James Paget.

The news follows the disbandment of James Paget University Hospital League of Friends at the end of the month after it was told it would have to relocate its foyer shop.

Both charities are casualties of a drive by the hospital trust to revamp catering services, including a M&S, and improve its accident and emergency department.

Paul Ritchie, retail area manager in the east for the Royal Voluntary Service, said: “We were extremely disappointed to be given notice to leave the hospital shop at James Paget University Hospital which our dedicated staff and volunteers have been running for over 30 years.

The WRVS shop in Gorleston's James Paget Hospital shop is closing to make way for the new look foyer. Photo: Liz CoatesThe WRVS shop in Gorleston's James Paget Hospital shop is closing to make way for the new look foyer. Photo: Liz Coates

“Our volunteers and staff at the hospital have worked tremendously hard to support those at the hospital and we know that their efforts have been hugely appreciated.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for everything they have done to make the services at the hospital a success.

“We will be working with our volunteers to identify other opportunities either at the trust or within the local community and also have expressed a desire to work with the trust on any alternative ventures in the future.”

Mark Flynn, director of services 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, and have invited them to become part of the wider network of volunteers at the James Paget to continue to build on the work of our exceptional staff at the hospital.”

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