Proudly Supporting your Hospital

The League of Friends of Pembury Hospital and the League of Friends of Kent and Sussex Hospital have joined forces to support the new Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury.

Over the years the two Leagues have raised millions of pounds for the hospitals and our major contribution so far is to provide the television sets in all the patient rooms in the new hospital at a cost of £340,000. Needless to say, these have proved to be extremely popular with patients, particularly those on a longer stay.

Lady Maureen Mills is our President. The Committee which is chaired by Gary Purdy is enthusiastic and committed and we are involved in raising funds and telling people about the work we do. Just because we have a new hospital we must not become complacent and think that our work is finished. We still have patients and staff to consider and to help and their needs will continue. There are many ways in which to support the hospital through the League and we would be delighted to welcome you to our ranks.

If you would like to join the Friends, please fill in a membership form on our Support Us page or contact our Membership Secretary, Véronique Green via email@friendsoftwhospital.org

Visit our "support page" to see the Charities Aid Foundation website to donate online.

We are waiting to hear from you!

Our History

In 1954 the League of Friends of Pembury Hospital was born – it was the inspiration of a small group of friends consisting of the Hospital Chaplain – Philip Stewart Browning, the headmistress of the girls grammar school – Miss Edith Hughes, the Hospital Administrator – Mr Garrett and his wife, the Surgeon Superintendent at the Hospital – Dr Grasby, the Matron – Miss Fagelman and the organist of the parish church – Rex Turner, who was invited to represent the community of the village.

The background to the formation of the Friends was given to us by Dr Grasby. Late in the 1930’s Pembury Hospital was designated a major base hospital by the emergency medical service, which would control all hospitals in the event of war. The hospital was required to provide 1000 beds for the thousands of casualties which were predicted and 16 huts were to be built in the grounds – 10 for patients and 6 for nursing staff. Medical and surgical staff and nurses would be sent from Guys Hospital to augment the Pembury staff.

When war was declared in 1939 all these plans were put into operation. The first year of the war – ‘the phoney war’ as it was called – was entirely peaceful and the Guys Hospital staff with the Pembury staff enjoyed the pleasant existence in the country, more particularly because , apart from the normal admissions of medical, surgical and maternity cases, there was little to do. Concerts and dances were arranged in the nurses home and in 1940 it was suggested that a garden fete should be held in the summer to occupy the staff and give pleasure to the village. It was enthusiastically supported and quite a success – and it was the first of what thereafter became an annual event. It was after the Summer Fete in 1953 that discussion took place about how to spend the money. The suggestion was made that the hospital might open a shop for patients and staff to provide luxuries which the hospital could not provide – and that was the beginning……..

The aims of the newly founded League were to encourage an interest in Pembury Hospital by the public – to carry out voluntary work and to raise funds to provide additional comforts and amenities for patients and staff.

As the years have passed needs have changed and we no longer just provide ‘additional comforts’.  Medical technology moves apace and the demands for equipment are many and varied. The hospital authorities turn to us more and more for the provision of urgent priorities which otherwise might be long delayed.

The Council is very active and enthusiastic and the support of the general public is wonderful. We receive many legacies and much goodwill and the average annual funds given to the hospital by the League over the last ten years is £83,000 per year.

Support Us

We rely on donations and your support is vital to us. There are many ways you can support us. READ MORE