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Could you help King’s Lynn Hospitals League of Friends?

The league's Kay Blackwell in the shop at QEH  Picture: QEH

The league's Kay Blackwell in the shop at QEH Picture: QEH

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A group which has raised millions to support King’s Lynn’s hospitals needs volunteers to help its work continue.

King’s Lynn Hospitals League of Friends raises an average of £90,000 a year to buy equipment and improve conditions for patients. This year, its work is being boosted by a £300,000 legacy.

In the last financial year, purchases totalled £189,603, with the largest single cost being £50,050 for a machine used in orthopaedics to check children’s hands and feet.

The league’s biggest source of income is the shop near the main entrance of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. It needs more volunteers to help it run smoothly.

There are 42 people on the books currently but with the shop open seven days a week and each midweek day having three shifts covering 12 hours there is always a requirement for plenty of pairs of hands.

Judy Fuller, chair of the league’s shop committee, said: “For many volunteers, it’s a big part of their life and for some it’s a lifeline. We currently have people aged from their 40s to their 80s, including couples.

“Even if people are only able to offer to help with a couple of shifts we’d love to hear from them.

“It’s a lovely atmosphere to be part of and it’s nice to know you are doing something good. You feel proud that you are raising all that money.”

The shop’s most popular items are food and drink – including filled rolls delivered daily. It also sells newspapers, stationery, toiletries and donated items such as books, knitted baby clothes and handmade key rings.

The League of Friends was founded in 1953, not long after the establishment of the NHS and it originally gave support to four premises in and round King’s Lynn – St James’s Hospital, the West Norfolk and King’s Lynn General Hospital, a chest hospital in Hardwick Road and a convalescence home in Stow Bardolph.

Former committee chairman Pat Roome, 90, has been with the League of Friends since its formation. Another long server – secretary Carol Crake, who is close to 50 years on the committee – has a “blood car” named after her. It’s one of four vehicles purchased by the League to transport blood supplies.

Anybody who can volunteer help with the appeal or shifts in the shop should email Carol at carolcrake@sky.com.

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