A HOSPITAL charity hit a high note at the end of 2013 – with a boost in funds for its eye appeal.
The Friends of Chichester Hospitals had a busy end to the year – with a series of community events.
“The last few weeks of the year have seen an amazing level of support from local people,” said chairman of the charity, Jane Ramage.
“The Friends have been incredibly busy this autumn, and especially in the run-up to Christmas, with sales of our Christmas cards and gifts, plus local events.
“The hospital shop and trolley have been very busy because of the high volume of patients. Our regular volunteers have done a magnificent job of providing a vital service to St Richard’s patients, visitors and staff, at such a busy time of the year.”
The Autumn Quilt raffle was drawn on December 12, and raised more than £1,700 for eye clinic equipment at St Richard’s, while three events in the week before Christmas raised substantial amounts for medical equipment.
Even torrential rain did not deter community carol singing at the Fox and Hounds, Funtington, which raised £57.95.
The Chichester Voices Concert at St Thomas a Becket Church, Pagham, brought a generous response in the retiring collection for neonatal SCU and Howard Ward, raising almost £400 for equipment to help staff care for sick children and babies in the catchment area.
The Friday before Christmas saw Friends’ volunteers braving the chill at The Cross in Chichester –thanks to the support of the Rotary Club of Chichester – and celebrating the resulting £286.90 collected from a generous crowd of shoppers.
The final event of the year was the annual gift distribution on Christmas Eve at St Richard’s.
Presents were given out on Christmas Day to patients unable to go home and spend the day with family and friends.
Patients at the Chichester Oaklands Centre also received gifts provided by the Friends.
“Every donation, whether of time or money, makes a difference, and the Friends are very grateful for all the support received in the past year,” said Mrs Ramage.
“Our hospitals continue to need equipment and the Friends are pleased to be able to help.
“We would like to say a sincere thank you to everyone who has helped the Friends to make that important difference for patients and staff in 2013.”
The Friends have existed for 65 years, and have donated millions of pounds of equipment to St Richard’s.
Its latest challenge is to raise £500,000 for eye equipment for the hospital’s new unit.