Generous couple’s donation could help improve hospital

William and Doreen Bowyer SUS-180102-093523001
William and Doreen Bowyer SUS-180102-093523001

The generosity of an elderly local couple could make possible a significant improvement scheme at Bexhill Hospital.

For years after their retirement William and Doreen Bowyer financed and administered a trust fund which, on an annual basis, aided nine local charities, among them the League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital.

Now in their nineties, the childless couple have wound up the foundation and made over a total of £210,000 in investments to the League of Friends.

Speaking at their home, William explained: “My wife and I decided to do something to help others.”

Doreen said: “To be truthful, we have gone through life trying to help other people. When we discovered what a wonderful job the League of Friends is doing it made us eager to give it to them.”

The couple hope their gesture will inspire others to aid the League of Friends which last year alone purchased total of £495,594 worth of medical equipment to help local patients.

Mr Bowyer, 91, first set up in practice in London’s East End as an optometrist with his wife as receptionist. They later moved the practice to Battle, where the couple’s charitable work included the creation of a care centre, before retiring to Bexhill.

He said: “We worked together to form the Bowyer Charitable Foundation after I retired at 80. We put our own money into it. We were a proper registered charity with a secretary and a treasurer. We put money in every year. We had an annual general meeting and a chairman’s report.”

The couple’s donations and the charities’ investments ensured each of the nine local charities received £200 a year.

Mrs Bowyer said: “I am 90. We have no children. We decided not to do it any more.”

Her husband said: “At our age it gets very difficult and the League of Friends does such a lot of good.”

League chairman Cllr Stuart Earl said: “Their selfless generosity is beyond words, following their own example, this gift will go on to help thousands of people.”

Plans are in the pipeline for a significant scheme which would improve conditions for patients at Bexhill Hospital’s Irvine Unit. If the scheme comes to fruition the league plans to place a plaque at the new facility acknowledging the Bowyer’s gift made it possible.

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