Busy Year for Friends of St Monica’s in backing local health

16th December 2021

St Monica's Hospital

David Kenworthy, Chair of the Friends of St Monica’s Hospital Trust, looks back at a busy year when the Friends have responded to health issues across the community. He said:

“Opportunity, health and community have been the watchwords for the trustees of Friends of St Monica’s Hospital over the last year. The pandemic has presented us with opportunities to do things differently whilst concentrating on the health and wellbeing of our community. So, as well as supporting the hospital itself, we have been much more proactive in the wider area surrounding Easingwold and the villages.

St Monica’s was off limits for outsiders for most of the year which meant that volunteers were unable to assist within the hospital. The Friends still provided equipment and support where possible, particularly in looking after the gardens.

Much effort was also focussed on communities within the catchment area and included supporting the vaccination clinics and people who were unable to leave their homes.

To support the work of EDCCA and NHS colleagues, the Friends agreed to fund all the food and drink that was supplied by local cafes and restaurants for the vaccination staff and volunteers. Although some food was provided free at the beginning of the campaign, it would have been unrealistic to expect that generosity to continue especially as most cafes were finding business difficult. Two of the Friends trustees have been heavily involved in the vaccination clinic. Lorraine Boyd has been organising the clinics and Ian Jackson has been vaccinating patients.

Additionally, more Meals on Wheels were provided through the year, paid for by Friends of St Monica’s and organised by EDCCA. The partnership with EDCCA is working well and the Friends hope to build on it in the coming year.

The Friends are helping local doctors with plans to improve medical services and look forward to bringing some ideas to fruition in 2022. All medical services have been stretched this year and we have active in supporting them and, at long last, there has been agreement for the provision of ear suction equipment for use by community nurses. The Friends will pay for both the equipment and the training, and the service will be provided for housebound people. Watch this space.

Friends of St Monica’s trustees are focussed on improving the health and wellbeing of our communities, working towards positive health as well as responding to illness. With this focus we have developed a streamlined grant application process. Various grants have been made, including to Huby Bowling Club for a generator, kit for Ladies Football, to a local community choir, Easingwold Running Club for providing support to people taking up exercise, and a barre for dancing classes for over 50s in the Galtres Centre.

These, and others, give vital backing to activities that care for the physical and mental health of local people. We are also still providing defibrillators in Easingwold and surrounding villages. Organisations are encouraged to apply for grants. On the Friends website is a very simple grant application form and decisions are made swiftly.

We work with other organisations in the area, such as the Lions, EDCCA and medical practitioners. Much of our good work, however, comes as a result of suggestions from members of the public. Please let us know how we can help in 2022.

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