An overnight stay room for relatives is planned at North Walsham War Memorial Hospital – paid for by public donations channelled through its Friends group.
The scheme, using a former team meeting room, will enable people visiting patients, who come from all over the county, to stay overnight and be close to their loved one.
It is among the wish list items for the Friends in the coming year outlined by chairman Keith Jarvis at the annual meeting.
There are also plans to brighten up a brick wall view from a ward window with a cheery mural using the art skills of students at Paston College.
Last year’s highlights included the opening of a £22,000 day room revamp, new garden furniture and a shed for use by a new team of volunteer gardeners – as well as the usual Armistice Day service, plus festive gifts and carols for patients spending Christmas on the wards.
Mr Jarvis said the Friends also added weight to staff concerns about a plan to introduce parking charges, which was dropped. They had stepped up liaison with the Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust which runs the unit to get a clearer picture of wider health strategy.
Friends’ funds, mainly from public donations, gifts from grateful patients, and money in lieu of funeral flowers, were boosted by the previous town mayor Barry Hester making the charity his civic cause of the year, generating more than £4200.
The meeting also updated the Friends rules, including streamlining its name to The Friends of North Walsham War Memorial Hospital, removing the words League and Cottage, to make it simpler for people knowing how to label donations.
Mr Jarvis, secretary Angie Batson and treasurer Carol Willgress were all re-elected. Other committee members are Richard Batson, Zana Jarvis, Margaret Johnson, James Plummer, and Sue Yaxley.
Thanks were given to two long-standing committee members, Nancy Downey and Jim Hardy, who stepped down.