50th Anniversary

Fiftieth Group

To mark the anniversary a party was held in the Stamford Meeting Hall at the hospital. In the region of 100 Friends, hospital staff and councillors attended.

Matron Susan Brooks put on a display of exhibits from the hospital museum and David Baxter ran a presentation from his extensive hospital photo archive.

Here is the speech given by Chair of the Friends Dr. Michael Dronfield.

The Friends of Stamford hospital were founded on Oct 11th 1962 at a meeting at the Town Hall, but it was not until the following year that the first meeting occurred and the Friends were registered as a charity. In 1962 the NHS was only 14 years old and there was still a strong tradition of charitable support of health care. Whilst this has diminished since then, charities still play an important role in supporting the NHS and the Friends still play a significant part. We do this by raising funds to provide medical and other equipment for the Hospital, and some examples of recent purchases we have made are on display this evening. We also, whenever possible, articulate the support of local people for the Hospital in our meetings with senior managers, commissioners, councillors and our local MP.

We are grateful to all the members of the Friends for their support and to so many of you for coming to our celebration event this evening. We have had a number of apologies and many notes of support. For example from one member "the hospital is such an important part of the local community" and from another "the two most important institutions in Stamford are the Hospital and Harrison & Dunn".

We are also grateful to the volunteers who work in the out patient department and do such a valuable job in welcoming patients and making them feel at ease. They also sell a lot of books on our behalf, making a very substantial contribution to our funds each year.

The quality of Hospitals is partly related to the facilities provided, but the crucial factor is the quality of the staff. The success of Stamford Hospital over the years has been due to the skill, hard work and kindness of its staff, and it is good to see some of the staff here this evening. I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of all local people to sincerely thank the staff for all they do for us.

Cutting the cake

I would also like to thank Susan Brooks, the matron, for her outstanding contribution to the Hospital. She is widely respected and is inspirational, not least in driving through the development of the Stamford Hospital Museum. There are some items on display this evening from the museum and if you have not visited it I suggest you arrange to do so.

Finally I would like to thank the committee members for the time and expertise they provide. We are particularly pleased to have developed our website this year and please do have a look at the display and note the website address. Also there is a display of some photos showing the history of the hospital, courtesy of David Baxter, and we are hoping to publish an up to date history of the hospital soon.

Please do enjoy the drinks and refreshments and take the opportunity to talk to other Friends and the Hospital staff. Gillian Langley, who was matron here for many years and sits on our committee, will now cut our birthday cake.