Afternoon tea to celebrate ‘friends’


TWO caring organisations that support staff and patients at Basildon University Hospital got together at Orsett Village Hall recently for an afternoon tea, to celebrate NHS 70 and some significant anniversaries of their own.
The Basildon Hospital League of Friends is celebrating 50 years of fundraising in 2018, while the NHS retirement fellowship marks their 40th anniversary, all in the 70th year of the NHS.
Tina Aparicio, 93, was a founder member of the Basildon branch of the NHS retirement fellowship. She is a midwife and delivered more than 2,000 babies over 25 years, at homes across Thurrock during her career.
She said: “I was supposed to retire at 60 but before I left I had been asked to come back and join the fellowship. I still love it, everyone is so welcoming.”
The friends have donated more than £1.5m to the hospital, starting with colour televisions back in the 1970s through to the largest donation of £42,000 in 2018 for a specialised foetal ultrasound machine, saving expectant mothers a trip to London
But none of the donations could happen without the dedicated army of volunteers, including Chris Harrington who started with the league 40 years ago in 1978 and Doris Delaney, who at 92 is the oldest volunteer on the league’s books.
They were presented with bouquets by Alan Ursell, chairman of the Basildon Hospital League of Friends.
Both organisations were set up to fundraise and support members of staff at Basildon and Orsett Hospitals and are on the lookout for new faces to boost their numbers.
Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Rita Keeler 01268 793864 or [email protected]
If you have retired from the NHS, find out more about the fellowship by contacting the Basildon and Thurrock branch membership secretary on 01268 551561 or visit the website at


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