The Friends support the Hospital of St Cross and the Community and Mental Health Services in Rugby by delivering a variety of voluntary services in the hospital and by donating equipment which improves patient experience or helps bring services to the town.
We have over 200 volunteers and no paid staff.
All the money donated is spent to provide equipment and deliver projects which have improved the patient experience in Rugby.
Our administration costs are kept under tight control and are paid for from earned income only.
Since 1955 we have raised over £3m and in the last 10 years have spent over £1m on equipment and projects!
The charity has a small team available to give talks about the history of the Hospital of St Cross, or St. Luke’s, and the work of The Friends.
St Cross was opened as long ago as 1884 and has an interesting history.
St Luke's was located on Lower Hillmorton Road and was originally the workhouse of the Rugby Union in 1819.
We have speakers to suit any event and make no charge for this service.
In June 2014 The Friends were honoured with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service 2014.
This unique UK national honour was created over a decade ago by Her Majesty to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2002 and to recognise the outstanding contributions made to local communities by groups of volunteers. It has an equivalent status for voluntary groups as the MBE has for individuals. The Friends were one of only 111 groups to receive this recognition and the only one from Warwickshire this year.
In May 2014 several members of the Main Committee attended the Pride of Rugby Awards to support Edie Freeman, who had been short-listed for a Long Service Award after 50 years of service. Edie did not win her category but The Friends were surprised and delighted to receive one of three Special Awards. The judges said that they had received multiple nominations for several individual volunteers in The Friends and they decided it was appropriate to recognise the charity as whole.
Ever since the first hospitals were built in Rugby, up until the establishment of the National Health Service in 1948, the hospitals were funded by voluntary donations.
The Hospital of St Cross was founded in 1882 by the donation of land and a gift of £10,000 from Richard Henry Wood, who also funded the creation of the town’s library. The hospital was opened on 17th July 1884 and was governed by a management board who collected subscriptions and donations from local residents.
This ceased when the NHS came into being but in 1955 a group of residents came together to form The League of Friends which provided voluntary support for the hospital.