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Mayoral commendation for Ripley Hospital's League of Friends

Published on Tuesday 26 March 2024

A fund-raising group at a Derbyshire hospital ‘built by the community’ has been commended by the Mayor of Amber Valley for its decades of work.  


Pictured from left to right: John Briggs (Treasurer), Phyllis Holmes (Chair), Mayor of Amber Valley, Councillor Tony Holmes, Jane Barnett (Secretary), Brian Wright (Vice Chair) 

The Mayor, Councillor Tony Holmes, paid a visit to Ripley Hospital to congratulate the remarkable achievements of the longstanding charitable organisation The League of Friends of The Ripley Hospital.  

Hailing the volunteer-run group’s invaluable contributions to the hospital and the community, the Mayor explained why The League of Friends had been chosen as one of his designated charities for his year in office. 

He said: "This hospital was built by the community, and it is, therefore, paramount that we sustain it through continued fundraising efforts. It’s so unique with a strong history while providing such important services to the community."  
  
Ripley Hospital was established in 1912, in memory of miner Tom Neal. Ripley Community Hospital originally operated under the stewardship of the community until the formation of the NHS in 1948.  
  
The League of Friends was established in 1956 and has been a driving force behind the hospital's prosperity, raising funds through various community events and investing the money straight back into the hospital.  
  
Meeting with the fundraisers and hospital staff, Councillor Holmes witnessed first-hand the recent developments made possible through the organisation's efforts.  
   
Instrumental in several initiatives, in January 2020, its work, funded by generous donations from the local community, enabled the comprehensive upgrade and refurbishment of the physiotherapy department. The department was originally opened in 1989 when The League of Friends donated £200,000 towards the cost of the department.  
  
In February 2022, the group continued its commitment to cutting-edge healthcare by acquiring a £35,000 Visual Fields Analyser, a strategic purchase aimed at keeping Ripley Hospital equipped with state-of-the-art technology. The investment has ensured residents can access advanced diagnostic capabilities locally, reducing the need to travel to larger city hospitals.  
  
The Mayor also acknowledged the group’s role in the expansion of hospital facilities, particularly the construction of the Butterley Ward, emphasising the significance of community-driven initiatives in enhancing healthcare services.  
  
John Briggs, Treasurer of The League of Friends, expressed the extensive influence of the organisation within the hospital. He said: "Wherever you stand in Ripley Hospital, you will always be in contact with something that The League of Friends provided.  
  
“Whether that be building materials or equipment, you can’t escape seeing the impact community donations have had on this hospital." 
  
Councillor Holmes said that in choosing Ripley Hospital's League of Friends as one of his two designated charities he was publicly marking the profound impact the organisation has had on the local community. His other Mayoral charity is the region’s Air Ambulance Service. 
  
Councillor Holmes added that, in light of the group’s work and commitment to the hospital, he encouraged the community to actively support its ongoing fundraising initiatives.  
  
“Donations, participation in events and community engagement are crucial in ensuring the continued success of Ripley Hospital in delivering quality healthcare to the community,” he said. 
  
The Mayor is raising funds for the League of Friends of Ripley Hospital and the Derbyshire Air Ambulance which will be split equally at the end of his term of office. If you wish to donate to the Mayor’s chosen charities, please email mayor@ambervalley.gov.uk or call 01773 841381 for further information. 
 
The League of Friends can be contacted directly by writing to The Secretary, Ripley Hospital League of Friends, at Ripley Hospital, Sandham Lane, Ripley, DE5 3HE. 




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