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Friends hand over their final cheque

Chairlady Poulton Branch Mary Curran, Head of Families Division Dr Peter Curtis, Head of Service Pauline Tschobotko, Treasurer Lys Hicks and Chairman Larry OHara The League of Friends hand over its final cheque in 48 years to help relocate the childrens unit.

Chairlady Poulton Branch Mary Curran, Head of Families Division Dr Peter Curtis, Head of Service Pauline Tschobotko, Treasurer Lys Hicks and Chairman Larry OHara The League of Friends hand over its final cheque in 48 years to help relocate the childrens unit.

A charity which is being disbanded after raising millions for new hospital equipment has made its final ever donation to patients at Blackpool Vic.

The League of Friends of Victoria Hospital had been going for 48 years, and raised £5m for hospital equipment and facilities.

But a lack of new blood means members decided it would have to be disbanded.

Its final presentation was for £123,000 which will be spent on moving a special unit for children with major disabilities, currently at Blenheim House, to another unit on Whitegate Drive.

Retiring chairman, Larry O’Hara, of St Annes, said: “Our money will help them to refurbish and type-design the unit at Whitegate Drive.

“We’ve helped to fit the last bit of the jigsaw for this unit and the children who need it.”

But it was a bittersweet presentation for the group, which has spent nearly half a century raising vital funds for Blackpool patients.

Mr O’Hara, 77, added: “It’s just a matter of age catching up with us all, and despite our best efforts we’ve not been able to get anyone else to come forward and take over.

“We have made our contribution to the community as a whole in Fylde, and we have certainly, as far as the children’s section is concerned, been instrumental in having a new children’s unit built which is the best in the North West, if not the UK.

“We are very pleased at the way everyone has supported us.

“We would not have achieved what we have without the support of the local community which has shown an enormous amount of trust in us.

“Every penny people have given to us has been for the benefit of patients.

“There are a lot of people out there who are very grateful for all we have done over the years.”

Five decades of friends group comes to an end

The League of Friends was initially set up as part of a nationwide organisation by the wives and families of doctors and consultants who worked at the hospital, and would host fund-raising events at the Tower Ballroom.

Over the years the charity has bought thousands of pieces of equipment for the hospital and run a bed-side trolley service for patients.

At its height it boasted up to 300 members, and more recently had up to 80 members.

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