moment for Friends of Burnham Hospital as it marks 50th year
golden aniversary of The League of Friends of Burnham-On-Sea Hospital
has been celebrated this week with the official opening of a new
look garden and the unveiling of a plaque by the former matron.
aims of The Friends of Burnham Hospital, as it is now known, was
formed backed in 1965 to improve the lives of both patients and
nurses at the hospital.
opening of the new garden and the unveiling of a new plaque were
held on Thursday (May 12th) to mark the special milestone.
hospital's enclosed garden has been attractively resurfaced and
new garden furniture and window blinds purchased, which can now
be used by patients, staff and visitors.
50 years was celebrated by a group of people representing the
community, the Hospital and the Somerset Partnership NHS Trust
with the guest of honour being Matron Barnes, who was Matron in
1966," said Tony Deahl, Friends Chairman.
a gracious 95 year-old, she was asked to unveil a stone plaque
in the garden to commemorate the occasion."
addition, a clock and plaque in memory of Mrs Barbara Fisher was
put in the Ward Reception Area to mark her contribution as a Founder
Member of the League of Friends and Vice Chairman for more than
local community values and is proud of its Community Hospital
and generously supports it."
Friends are very grateful for the support from Wyevale Garden
Centre (Sanders) who generously provided planting for the garden
beds, and sent Chester Allen, a member of staff, to undertake
the planting work. Thanks too go to Adam Barnes from AB Memorials
in Bridgwater who provided a new plaque at cost and fitted it
free of charge."
Friends was founded back in 1965 following a successful fete organised
by enthusiastic nurses in the grounds of their nurse's home. A
group of local people assembled to plan a fete for the following
year, which was held in Burnham's Manor Gardens.
the initial objective was to provide the 'extras' the money donated
by local people has meant that the Friends were able to provide
over £300,000, matched by the Somerset Trust to completely
refurbish the hospital in 2009, to pay for an 'east wing extension'
in the early 1980s and a conservatory that links the two ends
of the hospital at the end of that decade.
large detached house adjacent to the hospital was purchased in
the 1990s and is now leased to the Trust for a peppercorn rent.
addition, items from ophthalmic equipment to bladder scanners,
bariatric chairs, blood pressure monitors, hi-tech mattresses,
a mortuary fridge etc etc have been bought when requested.
daily newspapers, Christmas presents for patients and staff, Easter
eggs and dozens of other items have been paid for. Unusually for
a Friends group, an Artist in Residence was part funded and even,
for a few years, a physiotherapist, when waiting lists were unacceptably
than £2million has come from legacies, gifts in memoriam,
donations, the annual fete, social functions and music evenings.
number of Friends numbers about 200 but the Committee are keen
to double this number. Events are always well supported and its
website, friendsofburnhamhospital.com, is a popular source of
news about Friends activities and events, and gives details of
how to contact the group for anyone wishing to become a Friend.
The new garden will be open to the public on the afternoon of
Saturday 11th June.