Delight as determined Leeds fundraisers pay for hospital TVs for fifth year running

A group of women who have helped to cover the costs of hospital television in Leeds for more than four years have made their latest donation to pay for coverage for patients throughout 2022.

By Daniel Sheridan
Monday, 17th January 2022, 4:45 pm

The group - currently made up of Lesley Noble, Jane Brown, Teresa Lyon, Edie Bates, Trish Howorth, Linda Bradley, Elaine Shuttleworth and Wendy Burnham - have raised more than £100,000 in five years.

The staggering total has helped to pay for the TV for the patients in J88 and J89 of the Bexley Wing for more than four years - lifting a huge burden from the patients on the wards.

Visiting families and friends to the wards are given free teabags, coffee, milk, biscuits, cups and a tray by the volunteers.

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Volunteers manning the Hug On A Tray stand at Morrisons in Yeadon. l to r Edie Bates, Trish Howorth Elaine Shuttleworth and Lesley Noble.

This has become a huge lifeline for thousands of hospital patients since 2016 - many of which don't even realise the backstory of the kindhearted group.

Speaking to the YEP, Lesley said the group had raised so much money in 2021 that they had been able to pay for the television coverage a month ahead of schedule.

A £25,000 payment has been made so patients on the wing will continue to be able to watch TV at their bedside at no cost.

"2021 has been a fabulous year for 'Hug on a Tray'", Lesley said.

Lesley Noble

The group secured their first premises in Otley on Manor Square in 2021 - which had a grand opening on November 15.

The shop will house donated items and enable the group to continue their incredible fundraising efforts.

"We have had some wonderful support from the community and donations from individuals that have enabled us to take on a lock up shop in Otley that needed a lot of work doing to it", Lesley explained.

"We opened officially on November 15 so we could create a Christmas Grotto at an affordable price for children at just £2 each.

"Those three Sunday's in December brought in a wonderful £1,500.

"We could never have achieved this without the kindness and generosity of so many people who offered valuable time, goods, talents and money.

"One lady sent us an incredible £5,000 just days after we received the keys to what was a 'building site of rubble' and said this was specifically for us to use to get the place up and running.

"It was fantastic.

"This has paid for all the materials and rewiring.

"Altogether we've raised approximately £28,626 in 2021, the TV for j88 and j89 was paid a month earlier than in previous years and we've already started on the 2023 TV provision.

"The hub cost has been covered by the lady who sent the cheque for £5,000 so we haven't had to use any "Hug" money already raised.

"There has be no labour costs, it was done freely, banner and carpets provided freely also.

"We are absolutely delighted with 2021 achievement and we cannot thank and praise everyone concerned with this project.

"We would like to let people know that we're not a pop up shop, we have taken a lease for five years and will be dedicated to work and do our very best to continue as long as possible."

Town Crier Terry Ford helped open the shop.

Speaking at the opening, Lesley said it was "unbelievable" that the group had secured the shop - helped by a donation.

She said she never thought the group would get to this point when she offered a free cup of tea six years ago.

"Everything has been donated", Lesley told the YEP.

"We had a wonderful donation which has made this possible.

"They have given us the money to put this together.

"This is for all the patients who have lived and died and the families who loved them and still love them.

"This is a tribute to all of them.

"The patients will get every penny."

The usual opening times for the shop will be Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10am until 3.30pm.

To learn more about the charity, visit: https://www.hugonatray.org/

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