Friends of St Richard’s Hospital awareness day

FRIENDS of St Richard’s Hospital will be hoping to make a difference to sight this weekend.

The group will be running a charity awareness day and collection in Chichester city centre tomorrow (Saturday, June 8).

Raising much-needed funds to help patients and staff at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester, as well as those using local mental health services, the friends spend hundreds of thousands pounds a year on medical and items to make life more comfortable for patients in Chichester’s hospitals.

Members are currently raising funds to equip the new outpatient eye clinic at St Richard’s through their second eye appeal.

An information stand will be at Council House, in North Street, throughout the day.

The first eye appeal funded the return of eye surgery to St Richard’s after a 20-year gap. It is hoped the new clinic will make a similar difference as the expanded facilities will allow more patients to be examined and have a treatment plan set up within a single appointment.

“The rooms are there, just waiting for the ophthalmic equipment,” said friends chairman Jane Ramage.

“Each room costs £20,000 altogether, to kit out with all the equipment needed to examine the eye fully, test pressures, check vision etc so the friends are working hard to raise the funding needed.

“It’s a very exciting project, which will help so many people when the clinic is able to run at the planned capacity.

“Already donations have been made by grateful patients and some local organisations, and the friends have contributed £150,000, but overall we need to raise £500,000 to give patients in this locality the service they need.

“It’s especially important as sight problems increase with age and our area has a significantly ageing population.”

The Friends have a number of events and activities already planned over the next few months, and would welcome support from local people and businesses.

Anyone who would like to help can contact the friends on 01243 831843 or email admin@friendsofchichesterhospitals.org.uk.