Merry Christmas from the Epsom Medical Equipment Fund
The Trustees, Patrons and I would like to thank you for your support and help throughout 2015.
We all truly appreciate this as with your help we have purchased the following equipment – a £27,000 portable ultrasound machine, two £840 Molift Raisers which look like a porters trolley and will help stroke and medical patients stand up at an early stage in their rehabilitation and reduces the huge gap between electric hoist and walking equipment, Leatherhead Lions chipped in with a donation of £3,500 towards the £7,600 Verathon 3D Ultrasound Bladder Scanner which plays an instrumental role in assessing bladder problems including measuring a patient’s bladder volume following surgery; with the help of The Challenge, a Vital Signs Monitor was presented to the Day Care Unit to enable more patients to be post-operatively monitored since the unit has been enlarged. As we go to press we are preparing for the Leatherhead Lions and money received from a legacy to present two Nippy (how apt as the winter approaches) Cough Assist machine. Currently patients with chest problems are treated invasively by suction but this machine will enable one physiotherapist to treat the patient which is important especially in the small hours. All this equipment, thanks to those who have made a donation or purchased items from our fund are in use and helping those members of the community who might have need of it.
Epsom Medical Equipment Fund puts patients first and has done so for over 36 years raising over £4 million. Without our volunteers though this would not be possible. They give up many hours a week to help raise this money. Joan and Andrew work tirelessly alongside Bess at our car boot sales; Pat and Susan in the shop helping and advising visitors on their purchases, Rita who is an expert presenter of our raffle prizes as well as helping in other ways behind the scenes and sometimes at sales or other events; Kathleen, Geraldine, Mary and Vi who busily recycle our cards, Gill our knitter and crocheter producing some lovely knitwear for us to sell in the Wells Wing (next to the lifts). The Cox Lane Knitting Circle produce a variety of knitted goods also for us to sell. Val Kingsbury comes up with some very lovely knitted items which are different. On Saturday afternoon when time and other demands permit our youngsters join us to lend a helping hand - Sonu, Emmanuelle, Zakee, and Patrick. They perform a sterling job. We are looking for volunteers who can give an hour or two particularly on a Thursday afternoon to sell from the Aladdin’s Cave of a Shop.
We have a wide range of greetings cards both new and recycled which are popular. Sadly, we cannot get a lot of stock out to demonstrate our range but welcome visitors and patients to browse in our room next to the lifts on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoon . You might find something you like or need.
Kim and Darren have produced a new website for us which is attracting a lot of interest. You can view this on www.emef.org.uk. Do visit our site and see what we have purchased, what events are planned and even sign up to our newsletter to keep you informed of what is happening.
We are grateful to the Ashley Shopping Centre for letting us have a Unit outside Marks & Spencer to sell our range of knitted goods on a number of occasions – January, February and March. These have been very popular and brought in much needed revenue for our Fund. These produce a very colourful display. As winter approaches we have pull-on hats, mittens, gloves, scarves for sale as well as throws, knee blankets and shawls for adults and babies. These can be purchased at our “shop” in the Wells Wing.
In February, John Bishop from Epsom Rotaract dropped in to present a £1,400 Bariatric Couch to the Urology Unit. This has enabled individuals whose weight would have excluded them from investigations in the past. Also in February I was invited to the Wells Centre to meet the Retirement Club who meet there and to give a talk.
Our first Charity Dinner of the year was at Tamarind spice where we enjoyed a delicious meal. We were provided with a variety of dishes which tempted our palate and enabled us to sample dishes we had never had before. It was an enjoyable evening.
At the end of February, Steve Hardi-East presented the much needed £21,000 urodynamic machine to the new Urology Unit at Epsom. It was identical to one that Steve uses in his work at the garage AutoTest in Ruxley Lane, Ewell albeit the medical version was much more costly.
Our Charity Car Boot Sales got off to a cold and wet start in March; 2015 was not a good year for Car Boot Sales with cold weather, rain interspersed with the odd nice day when buyers and sellers came out. Paul has provided delicious food throughout the year. If you have not tried one of his bacon rolls or hamburgers, or egg and bacon rolls, do try one next time you see him.
In March our Barn Dance took place at Ewell Castle School with the Hogsmill Group and a fish and chip summer. This is a nice location with comfortable surroundings.
Our Barn Dance in 2016 is planned for Saturday, 16th April at Ewell Castle School. Tickets are £18 each to include Fish and Chip Supper. Tickets will be available in March but please do book early to avoid disappointment.
Ewell Castle School Choir visited the Ashley Shopping Centre to entertain and sing to shoppers. They sang beautifully and shoppers took time out to stop and listen to them.
At the end of April, those volunteers who were able to were invited to Epsom General Hospital for the official opening of the Urology Unit by HRH Princess Alexandra. HRH is a lovely person and showed an interest in what everyone had to say as she stopped to chat and was concerned that everyone tuck in to the buffet provided. At the end of April Stephanie Spiteri produced a variety show which she not only arranged, but produced and participated in. She did an outstanding job raising money for various charities including EMEF which was most welcome.
We held a fund raising dinner at The Cricketers on Epsom Common which was enjoyable. Our tables overlooked the pond adjoining and the food was hot and tasty but this time it was different as around 9 p.m there was a huge powercut in the area as we finished our meal by candlelight.
May saw 50 children, two representing each school, who sing for our Fund at Christmas, descend upon EGH to make a surprise presentation of the £27,000 Portable Ultrasound Machine to Consultant Gynaecologist Dr Radhika Viswanatha? This will be used in gynaecology and labour ward.
Bess met youngsters participating in The Challenge at the art college in Epsom to tell them about EMEF, what it did and to arrange for them to participate in fund raising events as a partnership. There were two groups totalling 25 people. One group suggested they make cakes to sell and spent a Saturday at the Ashley Shopping Centre. The cakes soon disappeared as shoppers saw their delicious individual and larger cakes and purchase them or a slice or two. The second group assisted at our Charity Car Boot Sale explaining to visitors about the fund, selling goods and greeting them as they arrived. Their leaders together with the Ashley Shopping Centre Management presented a Dinamap Vital Signs Monitor to Sister Lorna Belen in the Day Care Unit. This was most welcome as the unit has increased in size and needed a second Dinamap to enable patients recovering from surgery to be continuously monitored.
A number of reviews have and are being held by Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group to see how pathways should go in the future. Please keep an eye on what is happening to prevent services being lost from Epsom.
The families of Edward Thomas and Heinz Schmidtke visited the Stroke Unit to present two Molift Raisers which patients once tried were queuing up to use.
Leatherhead Lions generously made a donation of £3,500 towards the £7,600 Verathon Bladder Scanner for the Day Care Unit handed over at the end of August. This will ensure that patients are okay to be discharged following surgery. The Fund entered people including the Chief Executive, Daniel Elkeles and his family in the Round the Borough Walk which raised valuable money for our Fund.
Bess has been talking on the internet station Chat & Spin Radio about the fund usually twice a week. Have you listened in to Ron?
The Trust invited Volunteers to a Thank You Party at the Grandstand in early September. This is a lovely venue and again the weather was kind offering stupendous views over the surrounding countryside including London. The afternoon is a lovely occasion to attend.
In December due to the generosity of a visitor to the hospital, the Elective Orthopaedic Centre will receive a selection of models of the knee, spine, shoulder, etc. so that procedures a patient is to undergo can be explained more fully and the patient shown what will happen with the aid of the model. They will also be used to further research work in this area.
The ELOC cast visited the Ashley Shopping Centre to sing excerpts from Fiddler on the Roof their next production at the Epsom Playhouse and to raise money for our Fund. Shoppers stopped to listen
asking where they could purchase tickets The Theatre on the first night was packed to capacity as were following days; the scenery was just amazing and the show so professional; everyone was saying what a marvellous show it was and we are all looking forward to their next production in April. We were invited to Tina Mountain’s house where she had a fundraising afternoon for the Salvation Army and where we also had a table to sell our goods. This was a lovely afternoon and one that should not be missed.
At the end of November we went by popular request to El Rincon at Tattenham Crescent for a fund raising dinner. Everyone enjoyed the food, service was first class and the whole atmosphere was wonderful.
Our carol singing is taking place this year and started on 30th November at the Ashley Shopping Centre:
Carol Singing at the Ashley Shopping Centre 2015
Thursday, 3rd December
5 – 6 p.m. Epsom College Choir
Friday, 4th December
10 – 11 a.m. St Joseph’s Catholic Junior School
11 – midday Riverview Road CofE Junior School
Monday, 7th December
10 a.m. – midday Epsom Choral Society
Wednesday, 9th December
2 – 3 p.m. Shawley Community School
Thursday, 10th December
5 – 7 p.m. St. Joseph’s Church Choir
CAROL SINGING AT SAINSBURY’S, KILN LANE, EPSOM
Saturday, 12th December
10 – 11:30 a .m The Epsom Medical Equipment Fund Choir
Car Boot Sales supported by AutoTest commence 13th March.
I hope you will come and visit our Aladdin’s Cave of a shop in the Wells Wing Ground Floor next to the lifts at Epsom General Hospital on a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday afternoon. We have so much to sell and convert into cash which will purchase much needed equipment for Epsom General Hospital which could benefit you or your family.
Please visit our web site on www.emef.org.uk and sign up to our Newsletter or just browse.
Best wishes for Christmas and New Year and we look forward to your support in 2016.
Bess Harding, MBE