|Dene Hospital League of Friends calls it a day for annual Summer Fête|
|Friday, 28 October 2011 00:00|
After 45 years, one of Caterham's longest established fundaising events will no longer be on the summer calendar.
At the recent AGM of the League of Friends of Cater-ham Dene Hospital, members decided they could not continue to hold the event without younger helpers to provide the necessary manpower to support the Fundraising Committee.
In their Autumn Newsletter, Chairman, Jean Baker said: "Over the past few years we have appealed for extra manpower to help us set up and take down the Fête. Unfortunately we cannot get the help we need so I am saddened to report that the Committee has decided that the Summer Fête in 2012 will not be held. The sheer effort is too much for our small group of ageing Committee members and we feel now is the time to call it a day."
The event has also been affected by the recession, with people having less disposable income to spend at fundraisers like the Dene Fête. This summer's Fête raised £3,400 compared with over £4,000 two years ago.
The Fête has long been part of the fabric of Caterham and over the years its supporters have helped the League of Friends purchase valuable equipment for the Caterham Dene Hospital. Its members are now looking at alternative ways of raising funds.
To try and replace the revenue from the Fête, members will hold more smaller events such as coffee mornings, golf days and garden parties.
Following the announcement at the AGM, Roger Wright, Hon Treasurer of the League of Friends, said: "We are very concerned that our numbers are dwindling as members grow older and we may not be able to continue to provide the same level of support for the Caterham Dene Hospital. It is essential that new, younger volunteers come forward so we can pass the baton on to the next generation. Many cottage hospitals across the country have been closed so we are very fortunate to have this small local hospital on our doorstep."
Over the years the League of Friends have donated more than £300,000 to the Caterham Dene to ensure the hospital has the best up-to-date equipment possible.