Friends of St Monica’s Hospital Are Seeking New Trustees

6th November 2020

St Monica’s Hospital has a special place in the hearts of many people living in and around Easingwold.  It is a shining example of a Community Hospital working in unison with the local health authority to provide Nursing, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, medical rehabilitation and palliative care. Patients are attended by their own general practitioner. The hospital is for patients needing intermediate care between hospital and home and, most importantly, comes into its own to help patients and their families through the last stages of life.

It is one of the most valuable assets in Easingwold and there will be few local people whose lives or families have not been touched.

The Hospital was founded in 1893 by Mrs Katherine Love, a generous local benefactor, whose family lived on the Hawkhills Estate, near Easingwold. At first, it was known as the Easingwold Cottage Hospital but later it was renamed St Monica’s after the remarkable 4th century mother of the great St Augustus.

Taken over by the state in 1948, the Hospital is now designated a Community Hospital. It is administered by the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and has 12 beds, all having views over the Hospital grounds. The Hospital provides nursing and medical care, rehabilitation, palliative care, physiotherapy and occupational therapy support.

The League of Friends of St Monica’s Hospital was founded in 1969 to support and promote the work of the Hospital. The main aim then was to provide a Physiotherapy Unit, by converting the old washhouse, gardener`s store room and garage into a Physiotherapy Department. This opened in 1969. Since its foundation, the League of Friends has worked tirelessly to raise funds for various projects to meet nursing and medical needs.

The League of Friends of St Monica’s obtained charitable status in 1983 under the Governing Document dated 13 January 1983, and amended 2 May 1991. A new Governing Document, being fully compliant with the Charities Act and current regulations, was adopted in 2018. A copy of this Document can be viewed here. The Charity is constituted as an unincorporated organisation governed by the Trustees.

To mark the centenary, in June 1993, of the Hospital’s foundation, the Friends with the support of the York Health Services NHS Trust, launched the Centenary Appeal with the aim of raising £150,000 to provide an Occupational Therapy Unit, to upgrade the Day Room and other facilities. Thanks to the overwhelming support of the people of Easingwold and district, the whole amount was raised and the Unit was opened by HRH the Duchess of Kent in October 1993.

In 1994, a Garden Room extension to the Day Room was built at a cost of £48,000. The Millennium Project Extension was opened by local businessman, Ron Moverley, on 14 July 2000. The Jean Farghar Resource Centre was opened by HRH the Duchess of Gloucester on 24 October 2005. This was funded at a cost of £178,973 and has a meeting room, kitchen, toilet, store room and a small office. It is fully utilised not only for the Trustees’ bi-monthly meetings but by the NHS, PCT and others in the community at a small fee.

During 2011, one of the single bedrooms in the hospital was designated as a Palliative Care Suite. The refurbishment of this bedroom was funded by donations collected by the Friends.

Recent additions and improvements to the Hospital funded by FoSMH

  • Provision of modern trolleys, hoists, electric beds and physiotherapy equipment
  • Provision of flat screen TVs, bedside lockers and wheelchairs for patients
  • Computers and microwaves for staff use
  • Maintenance of Hospital grounds
  • Daily newspapers, flowers for reception and toiletry packs for patients who arrive unprepared for a stay.

The constitution adopted in 2018 extends the powers of the Trust to allow funds to be spent on the health and wellbeing of patients of the surgeries of Tollerton, Ampleforth, Hovingham, Easingwold and Stillington. A grants subcommittee receives applications and makes recommendations to the trustees. To date, grants have been made, amongst others, to COZIE, a youth organisation in Easingwold for a youth counsellor, to EDCCA (Easingwold District Community Care Association) for assistance to people attending Leeds hospitals for cancer treatment and, during the Covid lockdown, to provide for additional meals on wheels.

The trustees are conscious that, because of the location of St Monica’s Hospital, much of the work of the Trust has focussed on Easingwold. It is essential that the other communities are not excluded or ignored.

Why You Should Become a Trustee

Whilst the Trust still focusses much effort on St Monica’s Hospital there is now an opportunity to make significant improvements to the health and welfare of the general population covered by the hospital. The trustees are planning to work closely with the doctors’ surgeries to provide services which will improve healthcare and access to treatment. This is an exciting new opportunity for the Trust and has become much more relevant with the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic which means that access and the provision of services in the hospital is severely restricted.

The trustees are keen to increase their numbers to bring new ideas to the board, to develop grant making capacity and to provide sufficient trustees to ensure succession as trustees retire. Whilst there are no particular skills required at the moment, the trustees would like to invite applications from people with experience of grant making, media, fundraising, finance and the health sector. Above all, trustees should be keen to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of our communities. Applications are particularly encouraged from people registered as surgery patients in Tollerton, Ampleforth, Hovingham and Stillington. An induction to the trust will be provided for successful applicants.

If you would like to contribute to the valuable work of the Friends of St Monica’s please submit a brief CV to the Secretary, Derek McLuckie, at [email protected]

If you would like to discuss the work of the trust and what you might bring to the role please contact David Kenworthy on 07710 439771 or on [email protected]

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