Chairman's Annual Reports
I am delighted to report that it has been another busy year for the Friends of Farnham Hospital and Centre for Health. We have responded positively to events such as the Strawberry Teas in the summer and gifts at Christmas time for all 84 inpatients. These annual events are always a pleasure for the Friends to perform and are very much appreciated by everyone on the receiving end.
We have also responded confidently to the many requests, we received over the year from departments, wards and the GP Practices and Michael has a list of the equipment should you wish to see what has been purchased. Once again we took part in the summertime ‘Music in the Park’ event staged by Farnham Town Council when our tea tent managed to raise our best totals to date, mainly I suspect due to good weather drawing the crowds out.
For the fourth year in a row, several members of the committee took part in PLACE audits at Haslemere, Farnham and Woking Hospitals. It is always good to let committee members see what take place on the inside and the audits provide just the right evaluation tool.
By far the most exciting event took place in December at Rushmoor Male Voice Choir’s concert at the Maltings. Having kindly chosen the Friends for their fundraising event, they raised a magnificent £2000, the proceeds of which went towards purchasing Dementia aids for those patients who come into hospital with this cruel illness. The aid is a wonderful communication tool where patients and their families can reminisce looking at photos, their hobbies and listen to their much loved music. Some of the proceeds also went to help purchase equipment for the new Integrated Care Centre opening in the Spring and the subject tonight of our speaker. Working alongside Rushmoor Male Voice Choir was a joy and with VirginCare’s communication team to help, it was a sell out concert. The Friends thank the Choir most sincerely and VirginCare for their marvellous help and support.
It is a known fact that many charities will fold this year and we need to understand that our demographics have changed significantly as we the Friends are competing with many other charities within the town for help and support – this was not the case ten or fifteen years ago and the many men and women we relied upon for help have their own personal charities to support. The widespread economic, political and social changes affect all charities and the causes we serve and we need to focus on bridging the gaps and challenges that have arisen if we are to survive. I believe this committee is well equipped to face those challenges.
Five years ago I was asked by the then Chairman, Michael Watts, if I could possibly take on the Chairman’s role for one year!! Five years later I can happily report what a wonderful experience it has been. I do feel however that I have achieved what I set out to do and that was to bring the Friends into the 21st century by communicating with Social Media and networking with other charities and organisations within the community. I shall therefore be retiring from the role of Chairman with effect from 1st July, but will still be a member of the committee supporting Social Media.
I wish to thank firstly the Officers and committee who have supported me over the past five years. It has been fun and a pleasure to work with everyone – Michael, Mary, Agnes, Pam, George, Jasmine, Margaret Watts, Paul, Margaret Nicholls and Diana - we have laughed and cried together, but above all we have pulled together as one entity to provide those special extras for the patients and staff at the hospital. I also wish to thank Susan, Sue and Brenda who work so hard and have been a constant at the hospital and always make us most welcome. We have been a good team and I know there is more good work to come.
Chairman, Friends of Farnham Hospital and Centre for Health
11 April 2017
The friends held their 2016 Annual General Meeting in good spirits as the hospital has had a very successful and active year. For the first time in eight years all four wards were full in the winter and with Virgin Healthcare bringing more jobs to the site the hospital is being properly used. A complication arising from this activity is that parking is becoming a key issue. This needs to be addressed if patients are to get satisfactory access and more jobs are to be brought to the Farnham site. There is space in the building for additional services to be provided if this can be addressed.
Chair Diana Martin led the meeting recounting the range of activities carried out by the Friends during the year and the Treasurer Michael Cox was pleased to be able to present a stable financial position. Highlights included the delivery of presents to the in patients at Christmas and the tea tent at Music in the Meadow in the summer. Both will be repeated again in 2016. An example of the new portable telephones mounted on trolleys for the use of patients was displayed as well as pictures of the new overhead Sky-factory picture lights in the dental unit.
Representatives of many of the key local participants in health such as the North East Hampshire and Farnham CCG were present and Richard Comerford the Director of Operations for Virgin Healthcare gave a talk about the ‘integration’ of health systems in the area which was well received. President of the Friends of Farnham Hospital, George Alford concluded the meeting by proposing a vote of thanks to the speaker and congratulating the Chair and her committee on another successful year.
Chairman’s Report 2014-2015
Welcome to this the 61st AGM of the Friends of Farnham Hospital and Centre for Health.
One of the enduring messages this year is how the Friends are now represented on different social and media sites – which in many instances are global. It is a sign of the times of how we are now reaching a far greater audience with our own website, Newsletter and Facebook page. We also have VirginCare’s News and Media website support, for which we thank them for featuring our events during the year. It is satisfying to know that former work colleagues and friends can keep in touch and are seeing the work we continue to do in helping the patients and staff at the hospital and in the surgeries. We have had many complements over the year and this is due to the hardwork the committee have put in to ensure our events and fund raising are carried out in a friendly and helpful way. Sometimes social media works very well and this is a good instance.
Our annual Strawberry Cream tea was held on 1 July – delivered by committee members. The Strawberries, which this year were kindly donated by Waitrose of Farnham, came as a welcome treat for all inpatients, on what was a lovely hot summer’s day. We thank Waitrose for their generous donation to the hospital patients.
The Friends spent a very rewarding and successful afternoon in August selling tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits at Farnham Town Council's Music in the Meadow event. Although a very blustery day, the rain stopped in time for families to come and listen to Aldershot Brass Band playing an entertaining medley of tunes. A very big thank you to everyone who came and supported our tea tent and to staff from the hospital, friends and relatives who pulled out all the stops to provide the delicious cakes. We plan to cover the event once again this summer most probably in August.
On 31 October, we heard the sad news that our President, Michael Watts had passed away. Several members attended his funeral and the officers, committee, hospital staff and patients shall always be grateful for his hard work, good fun and generosity. Michael was a member for several years and brought new energy to the Friends. He was a very great pleasure to know and work with, a perfect gentleman and we shall never forget him.
At the end of November, around 100 Friends, patients, relatives and guests along with the Mayor and Mayoress of Farnham, Councillor Jeremy Ricketts and his wife Debbie attended our 60th Anniversary Concert on Sunday, 30th November. The concert celebrated 60 years of the Friends support to the Farnham Hospital and Centre for Health. The entertainment by the Odd Fellows and Chloe Smith was excellent and the Farnham Herald gave generous cover in the local newspaper as did VirginCare on their website.
At Christmas, following a grand buying and wrapping session with Jacqui and her team, the committee cheerfully and dressed appropriately, distributed our presents to all inpatients on Monday 22 December. At a poignant time of year for some people, the presents are always a welcome surprise for the inpatients.
We are also beginning to integrate more widely within the local community - we were invited to take part in North East Hampshire and Farnham’s Clinical Commissioning Group’s ‘Be part of Something Important’ away day in November. Patient representatives, members of voluntary and faith organisations were invited to comment on the CCG’s five year strategy and to propose how working in partnership could lead to new ways of making the strategy a reality. It was a very interesting and productive day and the Friends pledged to work with the NHS North East Hampshire and Farnham’s CCG to help fulfil their aims and objectives for the local community. More can be seen on their website. The Friends were also invited to take part in a facilitated half day workshop aimed at supporting existing and future Befriending Services across Farnham, Surrey Heath, Rushmoor and Hart. Networking on the day proved successful and we now communicate with Farnham Assist who offer lonely single adults a social calendar of events. A Befriending service is currently being piloted within the hospital by Age UK and will continue until September and hopefully beyond.
At the end of March, the Chairman was presented with Services to Farnham award for 20 years work with the Friends of Farnham Hospital and Centre for Health. Nominated by committee member Mary Probert, the award is a lovely accolade, not only for the Chairman, but also for the hospital, its staff and patients.
As mentioned by Michael in his report, our fund raising continues to add welcome revenue and we hope to repeat some of our successes again this year. The team are delighted to welcome George Alford as our new President and we all look forward to working with him in the future. We have an excellent committee and it is to them that I say a huge thank you for their dedication and hard work in ensuring the Friends continue to support the hospital and GP surgeries as well as our fundraising efforts throughout the year. I also wish to thank our Treasurer Michael, with whom I couldn’t do without and Jacquie our Secretary for their continued hard work. Brenda in Administration gives us her time and energy and support to whatever we do and for this we thank her wholeheartedly.
Diana MartinChairman, Friends of Farnham Hospital and Centre for Health
21 April 2015