HRH Prince Charles met members of the Charity on his visit to Bedford on 3 December 2013. Here he is in St Paul's church at the Christmas Tree Festival complimenting one of the Trustees, Helen Nellis, on the work of the charity. When he was told how much had been raised over the years, he joked "have you got any friends left?!"
The Bedford Hospitals Charity was founded in 1988 by a group of local people, initially to raise money to refurbish the dilapidated and antiquated Student Nurse Home at Bedford Hospital South Wing. Since then it has raised £9½ million for a number of projects. The largest was £2.35 million raised in the Primrose Appeal to build a new Oncology Unit, and more recently £400,000 towards state-of-the-art cancer screening equipment in the Endoscopy Department, and £200,000 towards refurbishment of the Cygnet Wing. The charity has recently finished raising £600,000 for new Gamma Camera facilities in the X-ray Department. The latest appeal, the Challenge Cancer Appeal, has just reached its goal. It was for £750,000 to develop and improve cancer services throughout the hospital and it is now complete. All the building work has been finished and new equipment installed and in use. Time for another appeal - the Primrose Car Appeal!
The key to the Charity's success has been its ability to work closely with the local community and the hospital itself. Most of the money has been raised through the generosity of local people, either supporting events organised by the committee, or organising events themselves in support of appeals. There have also been a few large individual donations. The Charity is run entirely by volunteers and has no paid staff. Its overheads are astonisingly low at around 0.5% so just about all the money received goes to help the hospital and patients.
Other charitable trusts, particularly local ones, have been very supportive. Hard work and commitment have created success and thanks are due to the army of regular helpers, who give so much time to the Charity.
We have plentiful supplies of the book Rhymes & Reasons for sale. This delightful book contains photos of the twenty tiles depicting nursery rhymes which decorate the walls of the Victoria Ward at Bedford General Hospital. Click for more details.
Local supporter, Ciro Ciampi has just turned 40 and celebrated by raising over £16,595. Click to see how he did it.