A group of around 70 volunteers run two small retail shops at the hospital, one in the new atrium development and another on the second floor close to the entrance of the South Wing.
Both shops sell a wide range of goods, from sandwiches to newspapers and greetings cards. A Monday to Friday trolley service also makes sure that patients and visitors are given the opportunity to shop. Other patient comforts are supported with a library service, again operated from a trolley service.
It’s the income from these services that is donated to benefit patients. Friends’ treasurer Allan Hodson estimates that during the 60 years more than £1 million has been donated and he’s still counting.
Shopping with Friends
The two Friends shops, friends2 shop at the end of the atrium in the main entrance and the other at the South entrance, are managed by two of the charity’s leading volunteers, Jenny Gillingham and Barbara Coupe.
For Barbara, it all started 20 years ago when her friend’s husband was Chairman and the Friends needed volunteers at weekends to man a trolley in the foyer. Nine years ago Jenny Gillingham came to work with the Friends and four years ago helped take on responsibility for volunteers and running the shop.
Jenny and Barbara get along famously, thoroughly enjoying their working time together.
Barbara used to run her own hairdressing business and with two young children, led a very busy life but as an admirer of the NHS she felt that it was an honour to give something back. Today Barbara enjoys the buzz of business and making money for the Friends. She regularly helps out in the shop or wherever required and handles the banking, bill paying or book-keeping.Barbara, pictured right, says: “All those years ago the shop was a shed on the square but the hospital eventually gave us a room in the entrance and we doubled the shop size.”
Jenny’s mother has been a volunteer for the Friends for about 15 years which is how Jenny, pictured right on the right in friends2 shop, came to join.
The more time she spent working with the Friends, the more she enjoyed it and consequently became more and more involved. For most of her life Jenny has been in and out of various hospitals as a patient and she feels that her work for the League is a perfect way to give something back and finds it very satisfying to know that all profits made go directly back to the hospital. Jenny is a member of Changing Faces which is a charity helping people with facial disfigurements.
Friends1 shop is just inside the South Entrance.
Friends2 shop is at end of the atrium in the Main Entrance next to A111.
Dick and Sandra Fegan can be seen around Broomfield Hospital with the well-stocked trolley. Don’t be afraid to stop them for some goodies!
Working as a team, Dick and Sandra have been providing a trolley service for the Friends for over three years now and they volunteer on Tuesday mornings. During this time, they cover the whole of the Hospital, “It certainly keeps us fit.”
The trolley service provides an invaluable means of obtaining newspapers, sweets, toiletries, sandwiches, cold drinks and some general items around the hospital wards. Dick and Sandra became involved after their son-in-law spent some time in Broomfield as a patient. Whilst visiting they happened to see an advert appealing for trolley service volunteers in the hospital shop so they applied. “We really enjoy chatting to the patients, it hopefully brightens their day and it certainly brightens ours! For us, it’s a chance to give something back, we find our volunteering extremely fulfilling.”
Both Dick and Sandra love football, with Dick following Fulham and Sandra supporting Arsenal. They also enjoy sight seeing both in the UK and abroad. They have travelled extensively and have spent some time living in Spain but they are back to stay now so look out for them and their trolley on the wards!
Photo above: Shop managers receiving certificates from the Trust on behalf of the volunteers who man the shops and trollies.
Library Trolley Service
As well as the Ward Trolley round we also have our Library Trolley Service where our volunteers visit the wards and departments throughout the hospital bringing a friendly face and a chat to patients.
The service runs on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and on the trolley is a wide selection of books for patients to choose from. If you would like to join our friendly team of Trolley Library Volunteers or would like to donate some books please contact 01245 443285.
“The Friends – Supporting your hospital, supporting you”