Email: league_of_friends@btconnect.com
Registered Charity Number: 252641

What we do

The Hospital’s future has at times been uncertain in recent years due to the varying financial constraints on the NHS. With the help and support of our local MP, past Chairman and Trustees the League of Friends have successfully fought off these closure threats.

Committee members meet every 3 months to discuss and agree on any request for funds, future fundraising events and financial arrangements of the charity. The majority of our work though is done outside of these meetings.

The Annual General Meeting is held in the summer, normally sometime in July, to which all Friends are warmly invited.

Since our formation in May 1967 The League of Friends have succeeded in funding a significant number of projects. These include:-

1969
Our first Physiotherapy Unit completed.
1973
Matrons’ bungalow constructed.
1974
Our first Day Room built.
1978
A new large Day Centre opened.
1980
Existing Physiotherapy Department enlarged.
1982
Physiotherapy Department further extended.
1988
More improvements to Bathrooms, Kitchen and a New Ward added.
2003
New Wing built – another Ward, an Occupational Therapy Unit and a Day Hospital.
2010
The ‘Green Shop’ on the Colonnade opened to assist fundraising.
2012
Completion of the Sensory Garden.
Set up of Day Care Centre and Dementia Care facilities.
2014
New TV’s for every bed.
2015
Provision of wild bird feeders which are hung close to the Day Room windows and are very popular with the patients. Provision of wild bird food whenever needed. Several interesting birds have been spotted.

 

Chairmans Reports:

 

2013
2012
2011

                 HCH League of Friends Trustees’ Report 2012

             2012 has been a busy year for the League of Friends.

 

At the Hospital. In 2012 we built a “Sensory Garden” on land at the back right of the Day Room. The purpose of the garden, which was the brain-child of Karen Neary,  the head of Occupational Therapy, is not only to give interest to the prospect from the Day Room but also to give a rehabilitation opportunity to patients. To that end the garden has been designed to present various “challenges” to patients who are regaining their mobility, the raised beds have been designed at different levels so that they can be reached and worked on by patients with differing degrees of mobility, not only therapeutic it can also give them the idea that despite infirmity there are ways in which they can continue to garden at home if they wish. To that end, with the guidance of another charity called THRIVE we have a range of gardening tools modified for various disabilities. It is hoped that we will be able to offer access to this facility to users other than the in-patients. Lastly it is a lovely place for the patients to sit outside, enhanced by a fountain kindly donated by the clients of Caisters the Hairdressers in the Colonnade. We also replaced all the patients TVs in advance of the Digital Switchover and particular thanks must go to Carole’s husband Colin who sourced and installed all the new sets.

 

The Green Shop has gone from strength to strength, well used by locals and those from further afield patronizing the Kino and we have a large band of happy volunteers who derive great pleasure from working there under Carole Williamson. Income increases steadily and we make money not only from the goods we re-sell but also a lot of otherwise worthless fabric that might have gone in your dustbin is collected from us and we are paid for it so never throw stuff away like that, we can sell it. We have a volunteer dedicated to putting valuable and unusual goods on Ebay for us which is growing all the time and another volunteer maintains a Facebook page for us advertising goods to a growing local following.

 

 WRAP Day Care Centre at Grove Mills.  Last year I told you that it had been set up to provide a local facility, part of the object was to replace that lost with the closure of Bowles Lodge.  Following extensive negotiations with KCC and our partner charities we entered into a lease and committed funding for the opening at Grove Mills and your Trustees, having  at the start no experience of running such an undertaking themselves took the decision to appoint a Managing Charity named Sound Architect.

 

As you can see from the 2012 AGM Minutes, a question was asked from the floor by John Hunt about the future of WRAP and the Chairman’s reply envisioned what actually happened.

 

Closely monitoring the level of activity in the first few months it became apparent that the projected growth was not being achieved but it was decided to let the existing management structure have the chance to prove, or improve, itself over a further few months.

 

After six months your Trustees decided that Sound Architect were not performing as they, Sound Architect, had predicted and that quick and radical action was required and Sound Architect were given notice that we were terminating the management agreement with them.

 

Our newly appointed Treasurer Mike Sodeau who is a Certified Accountant agreed to take on the direct management of the centre on a short term basis for three months during which time he would evaluate the running of the centre and would try to formulate a plan to secure its long term viability.  Carole Williamson, our Charity Administrator, decided to offer her services to Mike Sodeau helping to run WRAP.

 

On the 17th December Mike Sodeau took over the running of the centre with the assistance of Carole Williamson and they found that there had been much left to be desired in the way it had been run by Sound Architect.  It is important to explain that in 2013 WRAP was set up as an independent charitable company with a Board of Directors with Mike Sodeau as Chief Executive.

 

You will recently have noticed a lot more publicity about the activities at Grove Mills in the Local Media and a lot more is happening at Grove Mills than was a year ago and you will perhaps have seen lately that WRAP is running the STREET CRUIZER Youth Bus which is proving a great success.

 

 

Peter Hoole Chairman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HCH League of Friends Trustee’s Report 2013

 

 

 

2013 has seen fewer changes than 2012.

 

 

 

The Hospital. We had to put a rabbit fence around our beautiful new Sensory Garden which continues to give great pleasure to the Patients, Staff and Volunteers alike. We were requested to renew a wooden shed near the car park which we had provided many years ago and which is used for storing, amongst other things, spare mattresses which are constantly rotating with the special mattresses which are used to prevent bed-sores but which are less comfortable for normal use. It also housed the supplies of commodes and such like which go to the homes of patients being discharged. The old shed leaked and was too small. We doubled the length of the concrete plinth and erected a shed twice the size of its predecessor.

 

 

 

We continue to provide all those extra comforts that we have done for some time such as newspapers, welcome packs (comb, toothpaste, razor etc), TVs, plants outside and any other modest requests.

 

 

 

The Hospital itself has undergone some management changes whereby a group of ourselves, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks and Edenbridge are considered as “One Hospital – Four Wards” with two matrons, one of whom is Darren Humby our Matron with four Deputy Matrons. The result of this is that Darren is practically invisible to us and little has been made in the way of requests to us.

 

 

 

The Green Shop.  Since Carole Williamson now spends most of her time at Grove Mills we now have a full time manager at the shop, Marieanne Lechley. We have seen competition open up in the village with the opening of a Hospice Shop in the old Post Office. While this has undoubtedly affected turnover we are fortunate in having much the better site and the larger premises so the shop continues to produce a healthy profit.

 

 

 

Grove Mills.  This has been a year of consolidation rather than progress and as you will know from our last report Mike Sodeau decided that if we were to attract funding it would be necessary to distance the League of Friends, which has money, from the activities at Grove Mills and to that end a separate Limited Charitable Company called WRAP Ltd was incorporated in 2013. WRAP Ltd has run the Day Centre in 2013 with the agreed financial support of the League of Friends which has been reviewed by your Trustees on a quarterly basis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAWKHURST COMMUNITY HOSPITAL LEAGUE OF FRIENDS

 

REPORT OF THE TRUSTEES FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31ST DECEMBER 2014

 

______________________________________________________________________________________

 

REVIEW OF THE YEAR

 

 

 

 

 

The  Hospital

 

We continue our regular activities but the extra demands made upon our resources have been few, partly because the last Matron, Darren, had asked for everything he could think of!  The management structure has changed and we now have a Junior Matron in day-to-day charge and she, Molly, has been much less demanding. All change, as of April 2015 we have a new Junior Matron, Birgitta Wilson, we shall see.

 

 

 

The Green Shop.

 

The level of turnover and profit remains satisfactory and is by far our largest fund-raising activity, it raises our profile in the Community and it provides much enjoyment and social interaction for our large band of volunteers.

 

 

 

Grove Mills.  As noted in our last report we took direct control of everything at Grove Mills at the beginning of July 2014 (the activities having been run by a separate Limited Charitable Company called WRAP Ltd from1st April 2013 until that date.)  We are happy to report that all activities continue as before and the level of subsidy is slightly under our budget which itself was much smaller than before.

 

 

 

Looking Ahead.

 

There is a national problem with GP services and Hawkhurst will not be immune. The situation that arose in Staplehurst  could happen here without forward planning.  In a nutshell, owning the surgery buildings, as opposed to the GP practice, is no longer attractive to younger GPs. In order to attract new GPs, who are in short supply anyway, some other body, probably the community, will have to provide the buildings. Added to that neither existing surgery’s premises are without shortcomings so it is not as simple as buying the existing buildings. The two Practices are conferring, the Parish Council has it firmly in its list of concerns and the Committee has resolved to assist in whichever way it can.

 

 

 

Financial Statement

 

We have a fourteen page Statement of Accounts for last year.  We propose to hand out the Statement of Financial Activities and Balance Sheet at the Meeting.  Should you wish to see the full statement please contact me on 01580 752193 or email me wolfitha@hotmail .com.

 

 

 

Peter Hoole

 

Chairman Hawkhurst Community League of Friends

 

 

Chairman’s report 2015

 

Hawkhurst Community Hospital League of Friends

Chairman’s report for the Year ended 31st  December 2015 

 

Review of the year. 

 

The Hospital 

 

As with last year our level of activity has continued with all the basic support that we always give but the NHS seems unable to recruit Matrons who are up to the job. The last new matron to whom I referred in my previous report was conspicuous by her absence and left at the end of the year, there was an interregnum covered by the matron who was also in charge of all four Community Hospitals in the group but we now have a new junior matron of whom we have high hopes. However she is tied to her desk ticking boxes which has substituted for effective patient care in today’s NHS. There are also great problems in recruiting permanent, as opposed to agency, staff. 

 

The Green Shop

 

Our shop continues to trade satisfactorily and makes a major contribution to our fund-raising. Our manageress left during the year for a better job and we wished her well. She had come to us at a low point in her life and has gone to an excellent position at Metro Bank. She said that working for us had been a life-saver, it is amazing and gratifying how one can make a difference in unexpected ways and I know that is true for some of our volunteers. We now have a job-share where two manageresses work week on week off.

 

Grove Mills

 

Our work continues as before but we are looking forward to the opening of the new Care Home on the site of Babies’ Castle where we have been offered free accommodation for our Day Centre which will mean a very substantial reduction in our day to day funding. 

 

Looking Ahead

 

I mentioned last year the looming problem of the future of GP services in Hawkhurst, not forgetting that the two practices in Hawkhurst cast their net very wide across the surrounding villages.  The two practices have agreed in principle to merge and as neither has premises that are either large enough or of the standard now required another site has to be found.  Many sites have been considered but realistically there is nothing near the centre that is either available or affordable. Happily there is a strong probability that land will be made available at the Hospital and your LoF has agreed to fund the feasibility studies. If anyone has questions about this I am happy to justify our actions if you wish to get in touch but I do not want to make this report overly long. 

 

The accounts are now available and a summary will be available at the AGM.

 

Peter Hoole

 

Chairman Hawkhurst Community Hospital League of Friends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Chairman’s report 2015


Hawkhurst Community Hospital League of Friends

Chairman’s report for the Year ended 31st  December 2015 


Review of the year. 


The Hospital 


As with last year our level of activity has continued with all the basic support that we always give but the NHS seems unable to recruit Matrons who are up to the job. The last new matron to whom I referred in my previous report was conspicuous by her absence and left at the end of the year, there was an interregnum covered by the matron who was also in charge of all four Community Hospitals in the group but we now have a new junior matron of whom we have high hopes. However she is tied to her desk ticking boxes which has substituted for effective patient care in today’s NHS. There are also great problems in recruiting permanent, as opposed to agency, staff. 


The Green Shop


Our shop continues to trade satisfactorily and makes a major contribution to our fund-raising. Our manageress left during the year for a better job and we wished her well. She had come to us at a low point in her life and has gone to an excellent position at Metro Bank. She said that working for us had been a life-saver, it is amazing and gratifying how one can make a difference in unexpected ways and I know that is true for some of our volunteers. We now have a job-share where two manageresses work week on week off.


Grove Mills


Our work continues as before but we are looking forward to the opening of the new Care Home on the site of Babies’ Castle where we have been offered free accommodation for our Day Centre which will mean a very substantial reduction in our day to day funding. 


Looking Ahead


I mentioned last year the looming problem of the future of GP services in Hawkhurst, not forgetting that the two practices in Hawkhurst cast their net very wide across the surrounding villages.  The two practices have agreed in principle to merge and as neither has premises that are either large enough or of the standard now required another site has to be found.  Many sites have been considered but realistically there is nothing near the centre that is either available or affordable. Happily there is a strong probability that land will be made available at the Hospital and your LoF has agreed to fund the feasibility studies. If anyone has questions about this I am happy to justify our actions if you wish to get in touch but I do not want to make this report overly long. 


The accounts are now available and a summary will be available at the AGM.


Peter Hoole

 

Chairman Hawkhurst Community Hospital League of Friends.