Interim Weymouth and Portland League of Friends chair calls for fresh faces

11th January 2017

The new chairman of the League of Friends of Weymouth and Portland Hospitals is appealing for new members to come forward, and help support local health services.

The call comes from 80-year-old former mayor Peter Rendall, who has taken charge of the charity on a temporary basis until a permanent replacement for the long-standing David Smith is found.

David, 79, has decided to step down after 15 years at the helm due to family commitments.

The League of Friends provides invaluable support to Weymouth, Westhaven and Portland Community Hospitals; raising money for additional equipment there as well as supporting patients who need financial help.

Many members also give up their time to carry out voluntary work at the hospitals, supporting staff and patients in a variety of ways.

But Peter said: “We desperately need new members to join. Many of our current team work extremely hard, but none of us are getting any younger, and an injection of fresh blood would really help us.

“We are after committed individuals with spare time on their hands who are passionate about our hospitals and fundraising. We are a really friendly team who work closely on a wide variety of projects.

“David has been such an inspiration to us all and has led the League of Friends incredibly well. It will be impossible to fill his shoes, but the most important thing is that we continue our fundraising.”

David Smith stepped down as chair in November having joined the NHS back in 1958. In 1985 he became Weymouth Community Hospital’s first ever male matron - his last NHS role before his retirement in 1994.

David then turned his attentions to charity work, joining the League of Friends in 2002 and helped raise a staggering £349,000 during his tenure.

Speaking about his time as chairman, David said: “It has been a real honour to be chairman of such a great charity. It has certainly been hard work, but it’s worth it when you see the vast number of projects we have helped support.

“Bringing smiles to the faces of children through our work has been a particularly rewarding experience, and it is vital the hard work continues.”

If you would like to join the League of Friends, or know someone who would like to get involved, please contact Clare Lochhead on 01305 762 575.