As the school holidays get underway there is a sense that summer has finally properly arrived. The recent spell of good weather has certainly helped with that feeling too.  Good weather can be so uplifting and I personally love it but it can also make for an uncomfortably hot hospital which can affect patients and staff alike.

These last few weeks have seen the emergence of numerous fans on the wards, drink stations and even the frequent distribution of ice lollies. The ice lollies always go down particularly well and as ever it can be the small things that can make so much difference. Summer also brings a flurry of fundraising activity too, the opportunity to participate in a wide range of outdoor events that are generally less appealing in the winter months. Last month my colleague and I took part in a swimming event in one of the London docks for charity. The water looked a bit like thin green soup though it certainly wasn’t cold but the biggest obstacle was our own lack of confidence. Once we overcame that we were away and managed to complete it. We went from ‘I’m never doing that again!’ to deciding to sign up and double the distance next year in the time it took to drink just one glass of celebratory prosecco.

Here at the hospital we have a dedicated fundraising team – which in truth is very tiny and consists of just two people but they are supported by an array of dedicated volunteers who are tireless in their endeavours to support fundraising events. Combine that with the number of people that participate in the various events organised by the team and it creates a fair bit of momentum and as a result much needed funds for the hospital. Charitable funding within the hospital comes in all kinds of guises – from generous legacies to lottery grants. They are all of course invaluable – noone is unaware of the financial pressures of the NHS and so having charitable funds enables organisations like ours to make wonderful things happen that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to. Our dementia friendly garden at the hospital is a great example of this. Paid for by a hard fought and won lottery award, this small enclosed garden is something of which we are very proud and which gives so much pleasure to many of our patients.

We are able to have live musicians on the ward as a result of an award by the Arts Council and we have just received training for 14 people in how to create meaningful music playlists for patients with dementia from a charity called Playlist for Life who were generously given a donation to be used in the South West and they chose us as the recipients.

There are in fact too many initiatives going on in the hospital to mention that have been made possible by charitable funding. If you have been to the hospital it is likely you have been into the League of Friends shop which is staffed entirely by volunteers and the profits of which all are used to fund projects and items around various areas of the hospital.

Over the next few months there are a number of events taking place that our fundraising team are actively encouraging people to sign up for and soon, ten brave  participants will be taking to the skies to take part in a Wing Walk. These intrepid individuals will be raising funds for various wards and departments within the hospital. Events like this are an exhilarating way to raise money whilst challenging ourselves to do things we might otherwise not consider or even have the opportunity to do. I don’t think I know anyone who has actually stood on the outside of a plane whilst it is in the air and there is probably a good reason for that.

In September there is the Great Inflate-a-Race which is a 5k obstacle course littered with giant inflatables that have to be scaled, bounced on and slid down whilst at times being sprayed with water or navigate pools of bubbles. The focus of this one is certainly on fun rather than competition!

The other major event on the more distant horizon is the Yeovil half marathon. This brings an opportunity to be part of the Yeovil Hospital Charity Yeovil Half Marathon team (all abilities welcome) and to raise funds for the hospital. It may seem like a long way off but it means plenty of time to start that all essential training!

Fundraising events coming up

Wing Walk – Compton Abbas Airfield

This year’s closing date has passed but there will be more opportunities next year – dates to be confirmed for 2018.

The Great Inflate-a-Race – Sunday 24 September – Aldon Park, Yeovil

If you would like to register or to find out more information go to

Yeovil Half Marathon – Sunday 25 March 2018

Places are now available for the Yeovil Hospital Charity Yeovil Half Marathon team! Registration is £15 and we ask you to raise at least £30 in sponsorship (although we hope you raise more). Every runner will be provided a t-shirt or running vest which will be in running material and your name can be printed on there too. Come along and be a part of our amazing team of runners and help us continue to make a difference for patients at Yeovil Hospital Charity.

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