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Volunteer shop to stay in major hospital revamp

League of Friends volunteers Irene McNaughton and Angela Davies, as it's announced the organisation has a future at Colchester Hospital Picture: COLCHESTER LEAGUE OF FRIENDS

League of Friends volunteers Irene McNaughton and Angela Davies, as it's announced the organisation has a future at Colchester Hospital Picture: COLCHESTER LEAGUE OF FRIENDS

COLCHESTER LEAGUE OF FRIENDS

A shop run by League of Friends volunteers at Colchester Hospital will continue to trade in a new location once work to revamp its entrance is complete.

An artist's impression of what Colchester Hospital could look like after its multi-million pound revamp Picture: BOWMAN RILEYAn artist's impression of what Colchester Hospital could look like after its multi-million pound revamp Picture: BOWMAN RILEY

Questions had surrounded the future of the shop, which has been based in the existing reception area since the hospital opened in 1985, after a host of high street names were announced for the Turner Road site.

It is currently undergoing a multi-million pound revamp – which will see a new reception area, cafe and shops created.

Now bosses say staff and volunteers from the Colchester League of Friends are set to sign a new lease, securing their future at the hospital.

They will be based in a new unit on the ground floor of the two-storey extension, being built this summer.

“We are looking forward to continuing our long association with the hospital and the challenge of providing the same excellent service to staff and patients in what will be a more competitive environment,” said the organisation's chairman Frank Jordan.

“Over some 60 years we have contributed many thousands of pounds to wards and departments and our hope is that we will, with support from patients, staff and the public, be able to continue to do so for many more years to come.”

The League of Friends' partnership with Colchester Hospital has spanned over six decades – the organisation even had a shop in the old Severalls Hospital.

Nick Hulme, chief executive of the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) which runs Colchester Hospital, said: “We have a long and happy relationship with the League of Friends at Colchester Hospital who have for the past 60 years supported our patients, their families and staff with their generosity and time.

“We're delighted that relationship will continue and the League of Friends will be part of the exciting transformation of our hospital that will create a more modern, welcoming and safe environment for patients, visitors and staff.”

While construction is under way, the League of Friends will be trading in a temporary unit outside the front of the entrance building.

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