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.
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.
Friends1 shop is just inside the South Entrance.
Friends2 shop is at end of the atrium in the Main Entrance next to A111.
Our volunteers can also be seen around Broomfield Hospital delivering a well-stocked trolley service.
Don’t be afraid to stop them for some goodies!
Get to know our regular volunteer teams as they walk the corridors and wards delivering our merchandise to patients. It is certainly a ‘keep fit’ regime!
The trolley service provides an invaluable means of obtaining newspapers, sweets, toiletries, sandwiches, cold drinks and some general items for patients, visitors and staff who are unable to visit our shops.
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.