Sun shines for Bexhill Hospital Garden Party

Ingenuity and innovation on the part of supporters marked contributions to an event which is the shop-window for the work of the League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital.

Tuesday, 13th June 2017, 1:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 10:09 pm
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The sun shone from a cloudless sky throughout this year’s Hospital Garden Party to the delight of event organiser Mark Sivyer and his team.

For one pound, enterprising Bexhill 100 Motoring Club member Pauline Forward was offering supporters an opportunity to sit behind the wheel of her MG sports car. Visitors found they could guess the name of a very game Granny. They could take part in charity Home Instead’s lucky dip, buy plants at the Bexhill Floral Group stall and play hoopla courtesy of Rotarians.

At the top of the lawn was the £43,000 mini-bus the league has bought and which fellow charity Bexhill Caring Community operates as part of its dial-a-ride patient transport service.

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Cooling locally-produced award-winning Di Paolo ice cream was available from a stop-me-and-buy-one trike and Bexhill Lions Club members toiled at their barbecue.

Youngsters could have their faces painted or enjoy the bouncy castle.

Emergency services included Maritime Volunteer Service volunteers, the Fire and Emergency Fire Support Unit, First Responders and East Sussex Fire and Rescue.

Folk band The Exiles kept toes tapping for much of the afternoon. Bagpipe playing requires deft fingers. When piper Hamilton Bracken cut his hand early in the morning, his brother John drove from London to join him. Together the duo marched through the crowds with their stirring music.

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Committee members Harriet Chapman and Audrey Kerr headed the team kept busy in the Health Centre Hall serving tea, coffee and cakes and colleague Pearl Easton’s raffle was the centre of attention as John Black on the public address system announced the winning numbers.

When they had completed the day’s eye operations, Matron Lesley Carter’s team showed visitors round the Bexhill Ophthalmology Day Surgery Unit, which has been equipped by the league.

Rotarians from the Bexhill and Senlac Clubs helped league volunteers set up and clear the event and manned the gates.

The garden party was opened by Town Mayor Cllr Tom Graham, who was accompanied by his wife and mayoral consort Linda.

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So far this year the League of Friends has pledged £341,239 worth of medical equipment for the benefit of local patients.

League treasurer Chris Ashford was later able to report a provisional £3,574 profit on a day when the true benefits lay in the opportunity for local organisations to support the league and for the charity to show-case its work.

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