Dear Friends and Members
I thought it was timely to update everyone about what Stroud Hospitals League of Friends accomplished in 2021 given that we do not have the opportunity at the moment for holding General Meetings as before.
Needless to say 2021 was not a normal year for the Trustees, but we managed well by communicating with each other via extensive e mail discussions and the inevitable Zoom meetings. In fact we had a very busy year and distributed significant funds.
You may be aware that the Minor Injuries and Illness Unit (MIIU) and Jubilee Ward are undergoing major refurbishment at the moment. Inevitably this has resulted in a temporary closure and disruption (though a booking system remains at Stroud for the MIIU). The League of Friends has contributed £515,000 to this project, principally to upgrade what would have been standard NHS provision, and it will mean that the MIIU is larger and has a better layout than otherwise. The upgrading of both the MIIU and Jubilee Ward will give many years of service to the community.
We allocated a further £150,000+ on other items. This included over £50,000 for urology equipment to maintain the high standard of the hospital’s endoscopy department, and we replaced the ultrasound equipment (£62,000) which the League has provided on a regular basis since 1970 when the service was first initiated. Other purchases include an operating theatre warming mat, a gazebo for Weaver’s Croft, sit-on scales and other items. The maternity hospital was not overlooked either, as we contributed £20,000 towards a refurbishment.
All this was alongside the usual support that we give to the maternity hospital for their pre- and post-natal yoga sessions and singing groups. We continue to provide a free respite bed at Horsfall House for those registered with the local GP practices in Stroud and the Five Valleys area.
As a response to Covid, as in 2020, we decided to allocate some funds to those organisations working in the local community which have provided vital health and well being services during 2021. We supported 12 organisations with the principal beneficiary being ‘Hope for Tomorrow’. They provide weekly chemotherapy and other cancer treatment from a specialist mobile unit which parks at the back entrance of Stroud Hospital. Our grant covers the cost of delivering their Stroud provision and we are delighted to be able to help in this way. It enables Stroud residents to receive their regular treatment in Stroud rather than Cheltenham, and is a much valued service.
So in total, we distributed in the region of £800,000 in 2021 – a busy year indeed. As yet there is no news upon when volunteers will be able to return to the hospital and when the shop will re-open, but we can hope that, as with many other aspects, we can look forward to a relative return to normality at some point in the not too distant future.
Roma Walker, Chair