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Hospital charity closes with remaining money donated

PUBLISHED: 15:05 12 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:05 12 November 2019

An afternoon tea party was held to mark the dissolution of the Friends of All Hallows group, following the closure of All Hallows Healthcare Trust. PHOTO: Sylvia Knights

An afternoon tea party was held to mark the dissolution of the Friends of All Hallows group, following the closure of All Hallows Healthcare Trust. PHOTO: Sylvia Knights

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A charity supporting a town's hospital and health services has officially dissolved.

All Hallows Healthcare Hospital, Ditchingham. PICTURE: Jamie HoneywoodAll Hallows Healthcare Hospital, Ditchingham. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

The Friends of All Hallows has raised more than £1 million since being formed in February 1976 but, following the closure of the trust and subsequent transfer of services, the group have now announced where their leftover funds will go.

Sylvia Knights, Bungay town reeve and president of the Friends group, announced the Bungay Medical Centre Charitable Trust/Scott Charity will receive the charity's assets upon closure, while donations were also made to the local Citizens Advice Bureau, Bungay Area Community Transport, Bungay Foodbank and the Miniature Donkeys for Wellbeing.

She said: "The members and volunteers of the Friends worked tirelessly over many years organising Garden Parties, Christmas Bazaars, Easter Egg Hunts, Coffee Mornings, Concerts and all manner of events to raise the funds that have benefitted so many individuals and their families in the district.

"The Friends were determined that on closure their assets should go to a charity that best reflected their own objects and at the party on Friday it was announced that Bungay Medical Centre Charitable Trust/Scott Charity would receive the bulk of their assets.

Protestors embarked on a slow walk through Bungay to protest against the proposed closure of All Hallows Healthcare Trust. Picture: Jaime LarterProtestors embarked on a slow walk through Bungay to protest against the proposed closure of All Hallows Healthcare Trust. Picture: Jaime Larter

"The Medical Centre charity does an enormous amount to support and assist patients in North Suffolk and South Norfolk."

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The Friends group held a "bittersweet" afternoon tea party earlier this month to mark their dissolution, with Professor Christopher Hand of the trust also there to receive a cheque from Pat Blakeburn, chair of the Friends.

In March, All Hallows Healthcare Trust announced it was facing closure due to financial difficulties. The trust had been providing care since 1872 and operated a 30 bed hospital, a 50 bed nursing home, a domiciliary care service and a day care service across Ditchingham, Bungay and Lowestoft.

It cared for more than 250 people each day, with the closure putting around 280 jobs at risk.

While other care providers were found for the trust's home care and nursing home services, the meals-on-wheels service and hospital closed.

She said: "When formed the purpose of the Friends was to raise funds for the hospital which had run at a loss in the previous financial year, and funds raised were used to help with general running costs.

"Later when the financial situation of the hospital improved Friends funds were used solely for the benefit of patients, providing beds, equipment and improvements to the buildings.

"The largest legacy of over £340,000 was used to build the Day Care & Treatment Centre still used today by many elderly and disabled local residents."

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