The Friends of Goodmayes, a charitable association consisting of several retired volunteers, came into operation shortly after the opening of Goodmayes Hospital in 1901. After over 100 years of service, the Friends of Goodmayes made an incredible donation of over £60,000 to the Heath Way Foundation, NELFT’s charity that funds projects that aim to ‘help patients access the best possible care when they need it the most’.
Due to a decline in new volunteers, alongside the remaining members eventually leaving the group, the charity unfortunately disbanded. Olive Joyce, the previous Chair of the group, told us about the history of the Friends of Goodmayes, and what she hopes the most recent donation will provide.
Reminiscing on fundraising events of years gone past, Olive described how both herself and around 50 other volunteers raised thousands of pounds of donations each year through various events set up by the team. These volunteers mainly consisted of retired Goodmayes staff, who had already dedicated so many of their working years upkeeping high levels of patient safety and care.
As time went by, fundraising events slowed, and a tearoom was opened on-site at Goodmayes hospital, which continued to raise funds.
“The money raised was put towards everything, from non-essential hospital equipment to outdoor gym equipment, all aimed at enhancing the experiences of patients at Goodmayes. We made sure every single request made by different teams could be fulfilled in some way.''
In more recent years, The Friends of Goodmayes recognised the importance of spaces and equipment that the NHS sometimes did not have the capacity for, and so following the requests of various wards, the group managed to provide sensory rooms, sports facilities, and creative spaces.
Jacqui Van Rossum, acting Chief Executive, said,
“I have never underestimated the difference that volunteers can play in the lives of our patients, their loved ones and our wider community. I was humbled not only to hear Olive’s account of the hard work and commitment from the Friends of Goodmayes volunteers, but to be lucky enough to have seen first-hand the impacts of some of the contributions they have made to Goodmayes over the years, including sensory gardens and outdoor gym equipment for our patients.”
This final generous donation of over £60,000 has been left to the Health Way Foundation, in order to benefit some of the patients using our services here at NELFT, with the aim to enhance patient care. Olive expressed her excitement in seeing how the money would be used and was looking forward to discovering what their final fundraising amount would achieve.
David Bowen, Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Charitable Funds Committee, said,
“ I would like to say a huge thank you to Olive and all of the Friends of Goodmayes volunteers for their most generous donation to The Health Way Foundation, it will have such a positive impact for our patients. We would like to recognise the Friends of Goodmayes with a NELFT Make a Difference Award to thank them for all they have done over so many years.”
We would like to take this opportunity to thank both Olive and the entire Friends of Goodmayes team for their selfless hard work and incredible achievements over the years. Their hard work has most definitely made a vast impact on patient care. #TeamNELFT