The Bedford Hospitals Charity was founded 30 years ago in 1988 by a group of local people, initially to raise money to refurbish the dilapidated and antiquated Student Nurse Home at Bedford Hospital South Wing. Since then it has raised £9½ million for a number of projects. The largest was £2.35 million raised in the Primrose Appeal to build a new Oncology Unit.
The key to the Charity's success has been its ability to work closely with the local community and the hospital itself. Most of the money has been raised through the generosity of local people, either supporting events organised by the committee, or organising events themselves in support of appeals. There have also been a few large individual donations. The Charity is run entirely by volunteers and has no paid staff. Its overheads are astonisingly low at around 0.5% so just about all the money received goes to help the hospital and patients.
Other charitable trusts, particularly local ones, have been very supportive. Hard work and commitment have created success and thanks are due to the army of regular helpers, who give so much time to the Charity.