League of Friends of the Royal Berkshire Hospital: Supporting the RBH through volunteers and donations

League of Friends of the Royal Berkshire Hospital

History of the League of Friends

of the Reading Hospitals

Before the League of Friends of Reading Hospitals was formed in March 1957, there had been an active linen League at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

This disbanded in 1948. Therefore, with a gap of nine years, the league was precluded from being regarded as a direct descendant of a previous voluntary organisation.

Nevertheless the League lost no time in making up for those years after the Royal Berkshire Hospital Management Committee put forward the suggestion for its foundation. An inaugural meeting was held in the town hall at the invitation of the Mayor, who became the first president. Successive Mayors of Reading have accepted this offer ever since.

The first attempt at fund raising was an appeal letter signed by the Mayor. By November 1957 the League had 280 subscribers and donors. Money went further in those days. Since then, funds have been collected in ways well known to Leagues throughout the country, namely through our Shops, Fete, through Collection days and at special events.

The highlight of the League’s existence came when the financial position was strong enough to allow the undertaking of their first major project, building an overnight stay unit at Battle Hospital for mothers whose children had to be admitted to hospital suddenly. In recent years we have seen the refurbishment of our retail outlets in the South Wing at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

Since then,our formidable list of achievements in providing equipment and facilities for the Hospital with the help of our ever willing volunteers, stands in comparision with any League elsewhere in the UK.