Drop-Caps-following the very generous offer of £1m and suitable land on which to build the hospital, the task of persuading the Health Authorities, Local Councils and more benefactors became a very real issue. The League of Friends took on the role of fundraisers headed by Bernard Trew, the then Chairman of Wealden District Council.

A sub committee was formed as follows:

Mr Derek Richards (President)

Mary Whitty (Secretary)

Dave Critchley (Treasurer)

Cathy Grant (V/Chairman LoF)

Margaret Eaves (Co-ordinator)

Philip Clifton

Kathy Cooper

Dr Christopher Petit Judith Southern

Bernard Trew (Chairman)

Chris Ashdown (Treasurer)

Terry Baldwin (Chariman LoF)

Tom Russell (Treasurer LoF)

Jeremy Clark

Jack Collins

Roy Fuller

Janette Scott-Rademaker

Air Marshall Sir Frederick Sowery

 

Ex-Officio:- Robert Cole ~ Stephanie Parks-Crick ~ Peggy Rothwell

TERRY BALDWIN ON BEHALF OF LEAGUE OF FRIENDS PLEDGED TO RAISE THE DAUNTING SUM OF £1M

Drop-Caps-raising such an amount within our small catchment area was far greater task than any of us imagined. No-one realised the social impact our fundraising would have on the town and surrounding villages. Our enthusiastic fundraising committee together with the main committee and of course the hospital staff, took to convincing local organisations that the only charity was that of the new hospital. It worked. Groups from all religious denominations, all political parties, schools, Industry and commerce, youth groups alike joined in the fund raising. But at what cost to the community? After 18 months or so we began to receive calls of woe from many smaller organisations who were desperate for funds, saying people had stopped giving to them because the Hospital Appeal had been given fast track priority.

Drop-Caps-we paused while allowing funds to make their way elsewhere. The Eastbourne Health Authority accepted the problem and gave us as much time as they could before we needed to pay our pledge. However, they had to pay their bills and having built the hospital they then had to commence equipping it.

On May 31st, 1994 the HRH Princess Margaret Countess Snowden officially opened the Uckfield community hospital. It was a fine day for everyone. Uckfield and district could once again carry on as before distributing its generosity to the very groups who so admirably helped us.

Drop-Caps-by the autumn of 1996 The League of Friends of Uckfield Hospital had achieved their target of raising £1m for the new Uckfield Community Hospital.

This book is intended to illustrate what can be achieved when a community works together common cause, in this case ‘UCKFIELD COMMUNITY HOSPITAL’. Every endeavour has been made to ensure that the names and groups recorded are a correct record of those who have contributed to the Uckfield Community appeal. Our sincere thanks to everyone, we apologise if anyone has been omitted.

Terry Baldwin
Bernard Trew