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The Friends of York Hospitals

Friends of York Hospitals
The Friends of York Hospitals is an independent registered charity, working for the benefit of patients and staff at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. 

Founded in 1953, the Friends of York Hospitals is affiliated to Attend, formerly known as the National Association of Hospital and Community Friends, which has over a thousand associated groups throughout the United Kingdom.


Library ServiceThe two aims of the charity are:

    • To run a volunteering programme offering a portfolio of services to patients, which also assists the staff in making the experience of being in hospital more comfortable and enjoyable
    • To fundraise to support the allocation of grants to the Trust for things that cannot be met by core funds; medical equipment, services for patients and contributions to refurbishment projects.


The following grants have recently been allocated:

    • £50,000 – contribution to the Trust’s STAR appeal to refurbish York Hospital’s Stroke Rehabilitation Unit
    • £55,000 – to refurbish the current accessible toilet in the main entrance to a ‘changing places’ facility which will improve privacy and dignity for patients and visitors that require specific adult toileting facilities. (There are currently only two such facilities in York.)
    • £20,000 – donation towards the building and refurbishment costs of the new Bereavement Suite
    • £17,240 – to fund an art project carried out on the Enhanced Recovery Suite on ward 16 for a further year, which has been proven to aid recovery after surgery.  Also to expand the service to the oncology/haematology department
    • £14,500 – to fund ten cardiac monitors for the cardiac department
    • £13,335 – to fund ten variable height baby costs for the Trust’s ‘Lots of Cots’ appeal for the maternity unit
    • £7.465 – to purchase LUCAS automatic chest compressor for the Emergency Department, which takes over the chest compression part of life-saving CPR, and standardises chest compression
    • £1,300 – to fund two recliner chairs for ward 37, a dual assessment ward caring for older adults with both physical and mental health needs


With over 100 volunteers forming the team, The Friends of York Hospitals provide services to York Teaching Hospital, St Helen’s Crue Rehabilitation Centre and the White Cross Court Rehabilitation Hospital.  The Friends of York Hospitals volunteering opportunities are diverse and provide an important range of services to patients as well as friendly contact with them. Volunteers are supported by the Volunteer Coordinator and a Team Leader for each service. 

The services include:


    • Patient refreshments – serving drinks and biscuits at various times of the day to patients on wards and in outpatient clinics
    • Guides – based at the reception desk in the main entrance to the hospital, our guiding team welcomes visitors, assisting them with orientation, offering directions and assisting those with mobility issues to wards/clinics
    • Library service – once a week a team of six take the mobile library to all accessible in-patient areas, offering the opportunity to borrow from the extensive range of fiction, non-fiction and general interest literature
    • Newspaper trolley service – this weekday service offers in-patients the opportunity to purchase a newspaper from a range of national and local print, especially appreciated by those with mobility issues who cannot visit the shop in the main entrance
    • Fundraising – volunteers help with corridor collections that take place at the hospital most Wednesday evenings during visiting times, with seasonal collections and Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s and York Racecourse.  The charity holds a table-top sale in the main entrance on the first Wednesday of each month.


Since the beginning of this year, the volunteer team has swelled from 80 to 110 and rising, and the charity has expanded its services, offering the patient refreshment service to more wards, doubling the Newspaper trolley service team and offering services in the early evening and at weekends for the first time.  We are about to reintroduce a Reading service for patients in the Stroke Unit, with the possibility of one-on-one and group reading for those unable to read by themselves, and those who would benefit from human contact and the therapeutic outcomes of such a service.

 Volunteer Fundraiser

The Friends of York Hospitals is currently preparing for two of York Council’s 2012 summer fairs; at West Bank Park on Sunday 24th June and at the Rowntree Park 91st birthday party on Saturday 14th July.  We will be welcoming visitors at our fundraising stall where they can sample the delights of our “Home-made and Hand-made” themed fayre, with more than an emphasis on home-made in the kitchen!


The charity is also preparing to celebrate its diamond jubilee next year, with a reception hosted by the Archbishop at Bishopthorpe Palace on 11th July 2013.


For more information please visit . Friends of York Hospitals is a Registered charity number 500474.


The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has been Patron of Friends of York Hospitals since 2006.