League of Friends of the Alnwick Hospital

60th Anniversary of the formation of the League of Friends of the Alnwick Hospital

Alnwick Hospital Friends commenced when the Hospital was first opened in 1919, with businesses in the town and local communities raising money to fund projects and purchase equipment. In 1956, following changes brought about by the introduction of the National Health Service, the League of Friends of the Alnwick Hospital, a registered charity was officially formed.  The National Association of League of Hospital Friends brought together all of the voluntary groups throughout the county that had been supporting local hospitals. Since 1956 the League has continued to play an integral part of the modern day NHS through supporting Consultants, Staff and Patients at Alnwick Hospital. However this could not be done if it was not for the generosity of the local community.


Her Grace, Elizabeth Duchess of Northumberland, was the first President, and held this post for over 50 years. Since 1956 there have been numerous dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer members such as Mrs Phyllis Kohler, Mavis and Gerald Curry, George and Mary Gray, Jane and Ian Robertson, Jack and Joan Deeble, Jean and Mollie Fairburn to name but a few of the many past volunteers. Her Grace, Jane, Duchess of Northumberland is now the President and Mr Peter Coates is Vice President. There are currently 26 members, all helping to support our local hospital in whatever way they can. The popular shop and trolley service is operated on three afternoons a week; this is very much appreciated by the staff, patients and their visitors. Since the opening of the Hillcrest Maternity Unit the League present the first baby born in the New Year with a commemorative plate.


To commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the formation of the League of Friends, Her Grace, Jane, Duchess of Northumberland, presented an ECG machine to the Outpatients Department of the Hospital.


Annaluisa Wood, Matron of Alnwick Hospital, said “We would like to pay tribute to the many members of the Alnwick League of Friends who have raised thousands of pounds for the hospital over the years. We would like to thank them for their efforts and congratulate the group on the 60th anniversary which is such a remarkable achievement. Here at Alnwick Hospital, the League of Friends have donated numerous items which are improving patients’ experience of being in hospital, the new ECG means patients attending outpatients appointments will benefit from the latest diagnostic technology. Many thanks again and here’s to the next 60 years”.


How do the League of Friends raise money? Through ‘Bag Pack’s’ held at the local supermarkets, donations received from very kind organisations and individuals, fund raising events, partnership funding, the weekly bridge club held at the hospital, the shop and trolley service and the annual coffee morning, which is always supported by the good and generous people of Alnwick and district.


Items that have been purchased recently for the Hospital include

ECG machine                                                                  £4500

Ventipuncture                                                                  £347

Christmas presents for patients                                   £90

Knee and shoulder joint pads                                      £43

Analogue clocks                                                             £1518

Digital reminiscence software package                     £6100

Commemorative plate presented to the first

Baby born in the new year at Hillcrest                        £35

Karcher washer                                                              £130


Anne Harper, Chairman of the League of Friends, said “we are always so grateful for whatever donations and funding that we receive.  This enables us to support our local community Hospital. We find that residents of the community of Alnwick and district are most generous when we hold fund raising events, we are fortunate that we have such an excellent team of volunteers”.


The Friends have also created a garden in remembrance of two very special members.


Her Grace, Elizabeth, Duchess of Northumberland, who was President of the League for over 50 years. She gave much support and encouragement to the league, she was always interested to learn what purchases had been made and she was a regular attendee at the annual coffee mornings.


Jack Deeble MBE was recognised wherever he went as the league of friends. People would stop him in the street and give him donations. Jack was treasurer for over 30 years, and then on the death of Mrs Mavis Curry, he was unanimously elected as Chairman. Nothing was too much trouble for Jack, he was fully committed to his voluntary work and was a  great inspiration to all.


Anne Harper, Chairman of the League of Friends said “the League wished to show their appreciation for the support and dedication given over many years to the League by Her Grace and Jack and it was felt that the garden would be enjoyed by all and a fitting tribute to them both.

Her Grace, Jane, Duchess of Northumberland presented the garden to the Matron of Alnwick Hospital