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PM calls in to meet Friends of the Friarage volunteers

We recently had a very special visitor to our Friarage Hospital Shop!

PM calls in to meet Friends of the Friarage volunteers

You may have seen Prime Minister Rishi Sunak paid a visit to the Friarage to see the progress on the new £35m surgical hub underway at the hospital and to ceremonially lay one of the first bricks on site.

We were thrilled that as part of his visit, Rishi also called into the shop to meet our wonderful team of volunteers and congratulate them on kickstarting the fundraising for Friends of the Friarage’s Eye Appeal which was launched in February.

Friends’ Co-chair Susan Watson told us,

“Our shop volunteers’ unfailing commitment to their regular shifts has enabled them to donate an incredible £20,000 to the eye appeal. The eye appeal is the focus of our efforts this year, with the aim of supporting the surgical hub by bringing vitreo-retinal eye surgery to the site. The service is currently available at James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, with over a quarter of the people waiting for treatment coming from Hambleton and Richmondshire. If we can raise £200,000 for the equipment we will be able to treat patients closer to home.”

Rishi’s visit was also a perfect opportunity to meet the shop’s newly appointed manager, Tony Young, and for Tony to meet the members of the shop team, plus some of the Friends’ trustees and admin staff. Tony, pictured behind Rishi, takes over the role of shop manager from his predecessor who has moved on from the team after 11 years’ service. We would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to our previous manager for all her hard work and efforts and for developing the fantastic group of shop volunteers, without whom a lot of the Friends' fundraising would not be possible.

To learn more about Friends of the Friarage’s 2024 Eye Appeal and donate, visit our official fundraising page at: https://www.justgiving/com/campaign/EyeAppeal2024

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