As work on the new café and reception area at Ilkeston Community Hospital nears completion, the League of Friends who funded the work are already looking to the future.
President Mike Perry said: “The new reception is there, the coffee bar is done, the shop is on the way. We’re waiting on some furniture and signs but the finish line is in sight.”
The next job on the list is a marathon fundraising drive to purchase 18 new operation trolleys at a cost of around £4,000 each.
Alongside that, work is under way to find £70,000 for a C-Arm imaging machine.
Mike, 70, said: “I’m keen to see more residents access care here in town, rather than travelling to the nearby cities.
“I’m one of them. At the moment I have to travel to Derby for pain management on my hip. There’s no reason it couldn’t be done here, but we need the facilities.”
The hospital’s current trolley stock is not conducive to certain types of treatment or patient, whereas the new ones are designed to carry a patient from beginning to end.
Mike is reaching out to the local business community, organisations and residents, with several committing to support the campaign already.
He said: “People in Ilkeston consider the hospital to be their own - whatever’s going on with NHS management, there’s a really personal sense of ownership from patients.
“There’s a trend in the NHS to move healthcare away from hospitals - but a well run community service is vital, and the staff here do a wonderful job, and the public’s support improves everything we do.”
He added: “I get taken to task a lot, but my philosophy is that things will go better the more people are involved.”
That public support has fuelled Mike’s efforts with the League of Friends for more than 25 years.
As well as fundraising, he also runs a newspaper delivery service on the wards and helps co-ordinate the 20-30 volunteers who work in the hospital every week, greeting patients and visitors, sitting with them after operations, and delivering refreshments.
Mike, who also serves the hospital as a public governor, said: “I really enjoy going around with the papers on Sunday, chatting to people. It feels good to bring a few minutes’ jollity into someone’s life.
“But the fundraising is just as satisfying, when you see someone get a piece of equipment that changes their life.”
One of the new trolleys is currently on display in Thorpes of Ilkeston furniture shop on Market Place.
Anyone interested in supporting the League in any capacity can contact Mike via email@example.com or 07896 517126.