The Friends welcomed some 60 members and guests to the 68th Annual General Meeting to celebrate another year of outstanding support for the Hospital in Rugby.
The meeting was opened by our President, Willy Goldschmidt who set out the agenda for the meeting which included 3 guest speakers
Our first guest speaker was the Mayor of Rugby, Cllr Maggie O’Rourke, who said “St Cross has a special place in my heart as my father worked as an ODP in theatres and my mother worked in the dining room for consultants. In addition, I worked in the Pharmacy Department for 22 years. I am passionate about the Friends as I worked very closely with Derek Masters when he was the Chair of the Charity which was known then as The League of Friends. I would like to thank all the volunteers for their hard work and dedication and acknowledge that they help to provide a culture of tangible patient care.”
Later in the proceedings Cllr O’Rourke and Doug Jones presented Long Service Awards to Willy Goldschmidt and Ann Purcell who had both served as volunteers for 10 years.
After giving the Mayor a vote of thanks for her kind words about the work of the Charity, Doug Jones, Chair of the Friends, proceeded to report on our activity since the last AGM. A copy of his speech can be read here.
Highlights of his talk were that:-
- At our last AGM Covid was less in evidence but still an issue with face masks still being worn by some and particularly so in clinical areas of the hospital. That situation has slowly but surely changed throughout the last 12 months and face masks are generally much less evident in our everyday activity.
Our Social Fund Raising activities have been second to none under the direction of Tracey Lennard and her team of volunteers. The last 12 months has been no exception and since the last AGM some amazing social events have taken place and a substantial amount has been raised. Five events in total have taken place over that time. A race night; a wedding reception; a charity dog walk and a Caribbean Night. But, our biggest fundraiser was the Black Tie event in November 2022 raising a record breaking £11,154!
New volunteers regularly join the Friends and the support that some 170 volunteers collectively provide continues to grow.
- Doug thanked the Board of Trustees and each and every one of our ever dependable volunteers for all that they have done and continue to deliver.
Doug then introduced Treasurer, Brian Cheney who summarised the highlights from the full report on this presentation.
Our next guest speaker was Robert White, General & Ultrasound Superintendent Radiographer, Hospital of St Cross, Rugby, who gave a presentation about the wide range of imaging services that are offered by the UHCW Trust at the Hospital of St Cross. In particular, he thanked the Friends for the donation of equipment costing £70,000 which included the purchase of a new Ultrasound machine which will significantly increase the capacity for scans to be undertaken at St Cross.
Willy Goldschmidt, President of the Friends of St Cross, said “We are always delighted to support the expansion of the services offered at the hospital. We can only do this thanks to the tremendous support we receive from the community in Rugby and in particular, on this occasion, from the Hinckley and Rugby Building Society which donated £10,000 towards the cost of this project.” At this point Willy invited Colin Fyfe, CEO of the Hinckley and Rugby Building Society to say a few words.
Colin said “The building society was formed in 1861 when its first branch was opened in Rugby and the society has been serving the community in Rugby ever since. I am pleased that the Society has been able to make this donation for such an important development at the hospital and look forward to developing a connection between the Building Society, the community and the Friends of St Cross in the years to come.”
The final guest speaker was Dame Stella Manzie DBE, Chair of the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, who said “It gives me great pleasure to be able to attend and express thanks, on behalf of the Trust’s senior management team, for all the hard work and dedication given to the hospital and in particular the important role volunteers play in bringing the local community of Rugby into the hospital. It makes a massive difference in positive ways to the patient experience. Without the volunteers the hospital in Rugby would be a lesser place.”
Willy thanked Dame Stella for her kind words, which were as eloquent as ever, and noted that throughout her tenure as Chair of the Trust, which was due to end shortly, she had been a regular visitor to St Cross and had ensured that St Cross has a good high profile at the UHCW Board table. Willy then presented Dame Stella with a bouquet and a “Friends of St Cross / Thank You NHS” mug as a memento from her time working with the charity.
The meeting closed after a presentation of a bouquet to Karen Tomlinson who works tirelessly to support the Friends Board and the team of Service Co-ordinators who lead the team of over 170 volunteers.
Photos by Navin Mistry:-
- Speakers - clockwise: The Mayor of Rugby, Cllr Maggie O'Rourke, Doug Jones, Chair of the Friends, Colin Fyfe, CEO Hinckley and Rugby Building Society and Robert White, Superintendent Radiographer, Hospital of St Cross
- Willy Goldschmidt and Ann Purcell receive Long Service Awards from Doug Jones, Chair of the Friends, and Cllr O’Rourke
- Doug Jones, Cllr O’Rourke and Willy Goldschmidt receive a cheque from Simon Terry and Colin Fyfe of the Hinckley and Rugby Building Society
- Karen Tomlinson, centre, receiving a bouquet from Doug Jones and Cllr O’Rourke