The Friends of the Conquest charity gave the hospital a record £260,000 to spend on vital new equipment, facilities and services for patients, their families and other visitors in 2015-2016.
The substantial figure was announced as the charity celebrates its 25th anniversary year. The £260,000 takes the total amount the Friends have raised and donated since their formation in 1990 to a tremendous £2million, which has made an enormous difference to the quality of care that the hospital is able to provide to the 400,000 people it serves.
The Friends run the main shop and flower shop at the Conquest, which together produced an impressive net profit of £62,000 in the 12 month period to June 2016.
The Friends rely almost entirely on voluntary help and donations, including the all important legacies, and are enormously grateful to those members of the community who support them.
The Friends say they would warmly welcome more volunteers and donors to consider providing their help to sustain and boost awareness of this very deserving and important local charity.
Bill Hamilton, Chairman of the Friends, said: “It has been a rewarding milestone year for everyone involved with the Friends, and we are delighted to have been able to continue to play a significant role at the Conquest.
“Working in partnership with the hospital management and staff, we have exciting plans to celebrate the Conquest’s own 25th anniversary in 2017.”
Dr Adrian Bull, Chief Executive of the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust which manages the Conquest, added: “We greatly value the substantial support we receive from the Friends every year, which helps us to provide the best possible service for everyone visiting the hospital.”
Two years before the Conquest Hospital opened in 1992, members of St Helen’s, The Royal East Sussex, Buchanan and Eversfield Hospitals Friends formed a steering committee.
The first event to raise money and awareness of the new hospital was a fete in the grounds of Helenswood Lower School.
September 1992 saw the opening of the Friend’s General Shop. The shop was not very large in those days and was managed by a part-time manager and 44 volunteers. Over the years it has had two refits and become a very successful fundraiser thanks to all the wonderful volunteers who give of their time so freely.
In 2006 the Friends took over the running of the Flower Shop from the WRVS. They are able to arrange flowers for all occasions, have a wonderful gift section and baby clothes, some of which are handmade and donated by very kind local ladies.
For further information, contact the Friends office on 01424 755820 or visit www.conquestlof.org.uk.
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