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Bridgnorth hospital cafe reopens after major refurb

By Rory Smith | Bridgnorth | Health | Published:

A group dedicated to supporting Bridgnorth’s Community Hospital has officially reopened its cafe following a major refurbishment.

Mayor Ron Whittle and mayoress Carol Whittle cut the ribbon. Photo: Dave Cooper

The hospital’s League of Friends closed its coffee shop about a month ago to increase the size of the kitchen and give the cafe an overall facelift.

More than £30,000 has been spent on the renovation, which means volunteers can serve customers and raise vital funds for the hospital more efficiently.

An annual Christmas celebration turned grand-reopening took place on November 30 where the mayor Councillor Ron Whittle and mayoress Councillor Carol Whittle cut the ribbon to mark the occasion.

There were free refreshments for all as residents of Bridgnorth turned out to support the Friends group.

Ray Gill, chairman of the group, said he was surprised at the generosity of the community.

“The opening went very well and we were amazed at how much was raised,” he said.

“As it was a celebration we were giving out drinks and cakes for free, but we had a raffle, cake sale, tombola, and some of our ladies sold hand-knitted items – we collected nearly £700 which was a very pleasant outcome for the day.”

Mayoress and mayor Carol and Ron Whittle, project manager Paul Phillips and Ray Gill, League of Friends chairman. Photo: Dave Cooper

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He added: “The previous kitchen was very small and our volunteers could hardly move. We also had storage in a different room so they had to walk around quite a lot.”

“We also had a very small servery so this refurbishment brings the benefit that the workers and the customers have a much more pleasant environment.

“From a customer’s point of view I think their whole experience of the coffee shop is much more pleasant.”

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The League of Friends of Bridgnorth Hospital raises money for equipment and maintenance at the hospital through its cafe and a variety of fundraising schemes throughout the year.

Its members have received a host of awards for their volunteering efforts over time, including Susan Powell who retired earlier this year as treasurer after 13 years loyal service. She was rewarded by the chair of Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust.

Last year, 91-year-old Margaret Veal was awarded an MBE for her volunteering work.

In total the group has more than 60 volunteers who raise money to improve and complement the hospital’s services; most recently buying a new X-ray machine.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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