A £22,000 facelift has turned the hospital day room into a welcoming space where patients and visitors can relax and reminisce.
The project at North Walsham War Memorial Hospital was paid for by the League of Friends, which channels public funding donations into “extras” to benefit patients, families and staff.
The day room has been renamed the Friendship Room in recognition of the Friends’ work and to reflect its use as space where patients and visitors can relax and chat away from the wards.
It was officially opened by MP Norman Lamb who said it showed the value of the Friends’ work, and the strength of community support for the hospital.
The hospital, which also has social care and clinics such as physiotherapy, fitted the new long term NHS vision to deliver more care closer to people’s homes he added.
One wall of the refurbished Friendship Room has been transformed with a giant mural of a sun-dappled woodland, and another adorned with archive pictures of the hospital and town as a conversation piece for patients.
Friends chairman Keith Jarvis said the group was formed in 1949, two years after the NHS and had a proud history of supporting the local hospital – from providing a new training room to Christmas gifts for patients.
The day room project also includes a new television, blinds, flooring and furniture. It is also planned to renew furniture in the garden patio area outside the day room, for people to enjoy in good weather.
Among the guests at opening was town mayor Barry Hester who has made the Friends his civic charity of the year and has so far raised £2850.
The hospital is run by the Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust whose chief executive Josie Spencer added: “We are lucky to have people like the Friends who are willing to work on local initiatives like this – which can be projects we cannot afford, or would take longer to achieve without their help.”
The Friends are keen to recruit new members to help them in their work. If you are interested visit the How To Help section of this website.