In the beginning

Our roots lie in the hundreds of voluntary hospitals, often run by Leagues of Friends to treat the sick and the poor, who got together in the 1800s to establish the British Hospital Association.

In 1948, after the devastation of the Second World War, the National Health Service was created and an organised role for volunteers was realised. On 24th March 1949, we held our first meeting and the National Association of Leagues of Hospital Friends was formed.

From this first meeting we have offered a membership scheme to voluntary groups working to improve the health of their communities. In the early days this was hospital based volunteering but by 1995 we had expanded membership to include all those groups working to improve the health and well being of the broader community.

As our membership continued to diversify and grow we changed our name in 2006 to Attend, meaning to respond, to reach out and to give care.