A Darlington charity established to support patients using their
local hospital, is celebrating its 70th anniversary.
The Friends of Darlington Memorial Hospital was established in
1948, the same year as the National Health Service, with the aim of
'Bringing comfort to patients, to brighten their lives, to help and
encourage staff and to enhance the good reputation of the
Current Chairman, Alan Charlton, who has been in the role
for 22 years and who received an MBE in 2006 for his 'Contribution
to the Community', said, "The Friends of Darlington Memorial
Hospital is run entirely by volunteers for the benefit of patients
and we're delighted to be marking our 70th birthday.
We do whatever we can to support the excellent work of
County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust's teams by
helping their patients and we work closely with the wards and
departments at the hospital. Our very popular and successful
volunteer car service, for instance, has been bringing patients to
their appointments at Darlington Memorial Hospital, then taking
them home again afterwards, since 1997. It's entirely free,
although many people kindly make a donation. Each year, the
service helps around 7,000 patients.
"Over the years we've been fortunate in benefiting from the
generosity of local people who have made donations and bequeathed
money to us. This has enabled us, in the last 20 years alone,
to purchase medical equipment worth over £2m for the benefit of
patients using Darlington Memorial Hospital."
The milestone was marked by a celebration attended by Mrs Sue
Snowden, Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, who unveiled a
Professor Paul Keane, Chairman of County Durham & Darlington
NHS Foundation Trust, said, "We're lucky to have many devoted and
hardworking volunteers across our sites and services, including
those who give their time and energy to The Friends of Darlington
Memorial Hospital. We're very grateful to them and
delighted to be part of their celebration."
Published 17th October 2018
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community