The league was inaugurated in October 1970 at a meeting in the guildhall chaired by the then mayor. The first league chairman was Dr. Basil Muir who stepped down in 1974 to be replaced by Miss Doris Dibble until her death in 2011.
The league’s funds were in large part generated by the hospital shop and tea bar, both prominently situated in the hospital foyer, open throughout the week and providing a welcome haven for patients and staff alike.
The shop and tea bar were run on a shift basis by many local voluntary organisations and usually towards £100,000 per annum was raised for the purchase of much needed equipment, together with staff and patient support. Miss Dibble’s enthusiasm and business skills were recognised with a well-deserved MBE.
At the end of 2008 the running of the tea bar and hospital shop was taken over by the trust so that the income generation by the league fell greatly and its profile within the hospital foyer was lost. Despite this, the league, though now a much smaller organisation, has continued to fund raise and has used its considerable financial reserves to support the development of various departments within the hospital.
A committee meets regularly to discuss various ways of raising money locally and to consider requests for hospital equipment.
Very good contact is maintained with other local charitable organisations who continue to help the league in its mission of improving the facilities for patients and staff within our local health care community.