We have published our Gift List for 2014 on this link and, with that, have recorded that a grand total of £3,111,523 has been spent, since the charity was founded in 1955, on equipment donations and support for projects at the Hospital of St Cross and the Community and Mental Health Services in Rugby.

Back row L-R: Tony Cousins, David Moon, Mike Rigby, Front row L-R: Juliet Starkey, Heather Green and Joan Jesson celebrate the milestone! photo courtesy of the Rugby Observer

Andy Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of University Hospitals  Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust said: “We are deeply grateful for the support of the Friends of St Cross which has done so much for the Hospital of St Cross through its fantastic record of donations and the superb voluntary services which has helped us expand our service in Rugby. For example we now carry out over 70% of all hip and knee surgery performed by the Trust at St Cross which is partly enabled by equipment provided by the Friends for both the theatres and the post operation rehabilitation of patients..”

David Moon, Chief Finance and Strategy Officer at UHCW said: “This is a tremendous achievement by the Friends in their Diamond Jubilee Year. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the Friends on the project to relocate the Blood Taking Service for which they have generously committed £100,000.”

Juliet Starkey, General Manager at the Hospital of St Cross said: “As well as the financial support, Friends’ volunteers also make a great difference to the our patients with services such as helping hands in theatre for cataract operations and new services such as Dementia Friends and patient feeding.”

Joan Jesson, President of the Friends and former General Manager at the Hospital of St Cross, said: “Throughout my time at the hospital I have been proud to work with the Friends and to see the relationship with the Trust blossom. The most memorable donations made in my time as Chairperson of the Friends were the support we gave to opening of the Diabetes Centre in Swift House, at St Cross, and the Retinal Screening Van, pictured above and donated in October 2012, which was a joint venture with the UHCW Charity and serves people throughout Coventry and Warwickshire.”

Mike Rigby, Vice President, former bank manager and longest serving member of the Main Committee of the Charity, said: “Over my 32 years with the Charity I have always enjoyed my involvement because the Charity does work which I believe in and it is a real pleasure to work with the volunteers, staff and managers at the hospital who are lovely people and always make you feel so welcome. One of donations which was made in my time as Chairperson of the Friends which still gives me great pride is the provision of a plaster saw for Out Patients in St Cross. The nurse in charge was so grateful for this and the other donations made for the plaster room that she arranged for a plaque to be displayed outside the room and it is still there today!”

Retinal screening van handover with Trustees of the Friends, representatives of UHCW Charity and staff from the hospital in October 2012

Tony Cousins, Vice President of the Friends and former Hospital Secretary at St Cross, said: “In all my 40 years connection with St Cross, the Friends has shown a great sense of pride and devotion to the hospital and the community services provided to patients in Rugby. The original 1884 hospital was dependent on local benefactors and this link between the hospital and the town it serves continues to this day. Our volunteers, who come from all walks of life, often hear patients commenting about “our lovely hospital” and our charity is proud to support Rugby’s hospital and to work alongside the fabulous staff our local hospital has.”  

Heather Green, Chairperson of the Friends and former Superintendent Radiographer said: “None of this could have done without the generosity of the people of Rugby which has been demonstrated by the wide engagement and support that we have enjoyed with the Diamond Jubilee Appeal which has attracted donations for every corner of the community. We have collected over £3,500 from the cylinders in the hospital including over 30,000 5p pieces equivalent to 650 donations of filled sample pots! These represent what might be called the ‘widows mite” and are every bit as welcome as the many generous personal and community donations. We look forward to announcing an update on the appeal total at the AGM in June and intend to continue the Appeal until the end of this our Jubilee year.”