We are the 'Hug on a Tray' Girls, a group of 11 volunteers who visit the Bexley Wing at St James’s Hospital in Leeds. Jane, Teresa, Edie, Trish, Christine, Linda, Elaine and myself Lesley. We are based in Otley West Yorkshire.
My name is Lesley Noble. I have been a Chapaincy volunteer for 15 years, and 4 years ago, just before Christmas 2016 during my regular visits to patients on J88 I noticed that all the free TV’s had been removed from the individual rooms on the wards and replaced by a 'New system' that was costing patients, at that time, up to £7.50 a day to access and watch TV. This felt totally unfair. It so happened around that same time I had formed a new social group for women in Otley to get together, share friendship, meals, and outings.etc. We named ourselves the 'Chevin Socialites'.
And we decided to do a bit of fundraising to help pay for some free TV for patients on J88 over the Christmas period. The response from the 'Girls' was fabulous, and we raised enough, not just for one ward but two, J88 & J89 not just for the 4 days, but 10 days to include New Year as well.
Things evolved from this because kettles were then donated from Leeds Friends of Leukemia to all the patients in these isolated rooms, this was a lightbulb moment!! With the thought... if there’s a kettle in the rooms, well maybe we could donate, not just for the patients but their visiting families and friends, free teabags, coffee, milk, biscuits, cups and a tray! They could all help themselves! We then overspilled our provision to put a free Tea/ Coffee/ biscuits station in the outpatients department J87. 'Hug on a Tray' was born! We have continued to pay for FREE TV for both wards since then.
We fundraise constantly, and are always so appreciative of donations that have helped us since then. We love what we do, the people we meet, and don’t want to stop any time soon!!
(Photo from left to right: Elaine, Jane, Lesley, Trish, Edie, Teresa and Linda)