Bedford Hospitals Charity
The Bedford Hospitals Charity was founded in 1988 by a group of consultants’ wives to raise money to refurbish the Student Nurses Home. There was intense competition at that time to recruit and retain nurses and good accommodation was vital. The Charity raised the necessary £440,000 and the home was opened by the Duchess of Gloucester. Since then the Charity has gone from strength to strength.
The Charity is led by a dedicated executive committee and has now raised over £9 million for projects at the Hospital. Large projects have included the first MRI Scanner (£650K), the Cygnet Wing Appeal (£164K) and the largest project to date, The Primrose Appeal (£2.35 million) which led to the creation of the Macmillan Primrose Oncology Unit in 2004. Since then £337K has been raised for the Chemotherapy Preparation Area in the Pharmacy, £400K for Endoscopes for the Bowel Screening Service, £200K for a Midwifery-led Unit in the Cygnet Wing, £600K for a Gamma Camera and, most recently, the £750K Challenge Cancer Appeal to extend the Chemotherapy area.
The key to the Charity’s success has been the ability to work closely with the local Community and with the Hospital itself. Most of the money has been raised through the generosity of local people, either in supporting events organised by the committee or organising events themselves in support of appeals. There have also been a few large legacies and a number of individual donations. Charitable Trusts, particularly local ones, have been very supportive. It is also important to recognise the hard work and dedication of the volunteer helpers who enable the Charity to operate with extremely low costs so that over 99% of money raised goes to the Appeals.
The current appeal is for £50,000 to purchase three new cars for the highly successful and innovative Primrose Car Service which carries patients for Radiotherapy Treatment at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge.