The Friends of Harlington Hospice have been a long running group of volunteers and supporters of our Hospice for nearly 20 years. Many of the current committee members worked alongside Mary Hopkins MBE and her husband Reg Hopkins to help establish the Hospice in Hayes and Harlington. Their fundraising efforts ultimately led to the purchasing of our current building, Lansdowne House and the extension of the Reg Hopkins Centre in 2012. Three of the Friends sat down with our Communications Officer to talk about the group.
In late 2007, a group of like minded volunteers formed the Friends of Harlington Hospice. Their aim was to provide services and items not readily available within the funding of the main hospice. Through their many fundraising activities over the years they have raised over £87,000; supporting everyone who comes to us. They have donated towards a range of projects and pieces of equipment, including: funding for therapy courses; equipment for our Hospice at Home Team, including two Doppler Machines; washing machines/dryers for Lansdowne House; and video equipment for our Child & Adolescent Bereavement Service.
They have organised and hosted a range of events such as Garden Parties, Summer and Christmas Fetes, Raffles, Quiz Nights, and Skittle Evenings. Whilst always having fundraising as their central mission and aim, these events have also been important and highly valued community events and spaces for friendship.
Their latest event was a special Coronation Celebration, which was a fun day for everyone involved and proved very successful.
Their combining of fundraising activities and social gatherings is the driving force behind their Wednesday morning ‘Friendship Coffee Shop’. Started in 2012 it remains very popular amongst its members. The Coffee Shop sells hot drinks, homemade cakes and seasonal products, like a wide range of jams. Once a month they also host a Victorian Afternoon Tea, which is always a very special and enjoyable occasional.
The Friends explained what they like about their Friendship Coffee Shop, “It’s the friendliness. The atmosphere is nice because people have been coming for so long that everyone is very close now. And it is good to do something like our Coffee Shops and the Coronation event we had, you feel like you are doing something for your community. It really is a community place and a hospice at the same time. Many who have been bereaved have found comfort talking about their anxieties here. Someone might have a problem and as the ‘Friends’ we always try and guide them to where they can find support, whether through Harlington Hospice or another organisation. It’s just all about talking to people and supporting our community in lots of little ways.”
The Friends of Harlington Hospice is a volunteer community group that is open to everyone and is always looking for new members. Volunteers take turns each Wednesday to provide refreshments and serve numerous cups of tea and coffee, always finding time to sit and socialise throughout the morning. Only one thing is required to join this volunteer group: completing a simple hygiene course to cover Health and Safety Regulations due to their handling of food. But this shouldn’t put anyone off! As the Friends reassure, “the hygiene course was really interesting! We had a lovely day and learnt a lot, so it was definitely worth doing.”
The Friends of Harlington Hospice events:
Friendship Coffee Shop
Held in the Reg Hopkins Centre at Lansdowne House every Wednesday, 10am – 12.30.
Victorian Afternoon Tea
Held in the Reg Hopkins Centre at Lansdowne House once a month, dates and times to be announced. Please contact Debra White by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8759 0453
As big events or occasions happen throughout the year the Friends host special, themed gatherings, like their Christmas Coffee Shops or their Coronation Celebration in 2023.
Held in the Reg Hopkins Centre at Lansdowne House throughout the year.
Joining the Friends of Harlington Hospice
If you would like to join this friendly group, please contact Debra White by emailing email@example.com or calling 020 8759 0453 for more information. Or pop into the Coffee Shop at Lansdowne House on a Wednesday morning for a chat and a piece of cake. As the Friends said, “You would be most welcome”.