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The Friends' postal address, telephone numbers and email addresses of the Secretary and the Treasurer and email for our Publicity Officer are all shown at the foot of each page.


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Friends of Bristol Eye Hospital improve care and treatment for patients by helping to pay for medical equipment, patient comforts and staff resources which would not otherwise be provided.  Treatment for all patients has been greatly enhanced by our supporters.

For every pound raised, we spend 93p on this support, 4p on Governance costs and 3p on Fund-raising.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

For the latest information about visiting all Bristol hospitals, please see

We will not be holding our AGM in May this year.  We plan to hold the AGM later in the year at a date to be agreed.

30 March 2020

'Wonderful' online donation platform

The Wonderful online platform was suspended on 31 March 2020 as a consequence of staff shortages caused by the COVID-19 crisis.  Donations already made will be sent to us.  Thank you to everyone who has donated or raised funds for us over the last year.  We are very grateful for the entirely free service provided by Wonderful and their sponsors.

Wonderful hope to resume the service but this is unclear at the moment.  In the meantime, if you wish to donate using a debit or credit card, please use our account with PayPal Giving Fund.

Understandably we received very short notice that this service would be suspended or closed.  While we sincerely hope it will be resumed, we are exploring alternative online donation and fund-raising platforms with a view to appointing a new provider if necessary.  


1 April 2020

Welcome aboard Kevin Abbey and Congratulations to Heather Walker

We are delighted to announce that Kevin Abbey, our Honorary Publicity Officer, has recently been co-opted as a Friends' trustee until our next Annual General Meeting, currently scheduled for 19 May 2020, when he will stand for election by the members.

We are also pleased to report that Heather Walker completed 40 years as a trustee of the Friends in July this year and received a gracious speech of thanks (and a small gift) from our Chairman Richard Markham at the end of our evening with Mark Carwardine on 26 September.

1 December 2019

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

GDPR requires us to protect personal data, inform supporters what data is held for them, how it is used, and how it can be viewed, amended or deleted.  We have written to all Members, supporters and volunteers setting out how we comply with GDPR.  Our updated Privacy Policy can be viewed on our In Sight page.

If you have not heard from us and wish to be contacted, or if you want to know what data we hold for you or wish us to amend or delete any data, or if you require any further information about our stance on GDPR, please contact the Secretary.

17 May 2018, last updated 5 June 2019

In Sight 2019

Our magazine In Sight is available in the Eye Hospital.  There are new racks throughout the hospital displaying copies of In Sight and our Membership/Donation Form.

You can also view or download a copy here In Sight.

Copies have been distributed to all members and supporters who want to receive it.  If you haven't got a copy and would like one by post, please contact the Secretary.

Many thanks to Kevin Abbey, our Publicity Officer, who produced this bumper edition of 12 pages.

25 February 2019, last updated  1 October

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New Bright and Cheerful Mural on Level 3 

Since January 2019, visitors to Gloucester Ward have been welcomed by a large and colourful mural - commissioned by the hospital’s management, designed and painted by local artist Amy Hutchings and paid for by the Friends.


Amy was asked to create a colourful, vibrant and positive image illustrating Bristol Eye Hospital as central to eye health in the city.  It also had to be robust and easily cleaned to conform to modern hospital health and safety standards.  Amy’s design includes BEH in a skyline with green space, sky and water and uses primary colours more visible to the partially sighted and appealing to all ages.


Consultant Denize Atan commented “Hospitals are designed and decorated to meet pragmatic demands on space within a limited budget.  Few hospitals have budgets to make spaces appealing, yet studies have shown that exposure to ‘greenness’ and natural environments may improve surgical outcomes.  So we are excited to work with Amy to improve the hospital environment by decorating indoor spaces with outdoor scenes.”


The Friends were delighted to fund this project and we’re sure you’ll agree that it creates a much brighter and welcoming environment.


Other examples of Amy Hutching’s work can be found on Amy's website.


26 February 2019, amended 9 May 2019

Ashcombe Park Bowling Club's Charity of the Year for 2019

Captain Martin Paterson said “As captain, I have the choice of which charity my club will support throughout the year.  Many of our members, including myself, are currently undergoing or have received treatment at Bristol Eye Hospital.  Therefore, to show our gratitude for all the treatment we have received, and after talking with Professor Sparrow, it was an automatic choice to support Friends of Bristol Eye Hospital”.

We designed some new banners for the Bowling Club, based in Weston-super-Mare, to promote the Friends - in readiness for the 2019 summer outdoor season.  These are now available for us to use at similar events in future.

In addition to promoting us at their many social events and indoor activities, including short mat bowls, the Club’s seven different teams play in various local league games and host games against visiting teams from all over the country. They also have a dedicated charity day where members dress up to a theme for a fun day of bowls.

Overall, the club's members raised £1,411 for us over the year.  Thank you very much!

The club offers six weeks of free coaching for potential new members.  If you are interested in playing bowls or joining the Ashcombe Park Bowling Club, there are full details on their website 

27 March 2019, updated 25 November 2019

Confocal Microscope

We are delighted to report that we have made a grant of £45,349 to purchase and maintain a Confocal Microscope.  This advanced microscope is used to diagnose microbial keratitis, of which acanthamoeba keratitis is one, and other conditions affecting the cornea.  These conditions are devastating, painful and sight-threatening and can result in the loss of the eye.

The microscope makes contact with the patient’s eye (in the same way as a contact lens), so a local anaesthetic is used, but the patient must be awake during the examination.  The patient sits in a chair as for a slit-lamp examination and the doctor can see the layers of the cornea right down to a cellular level.

Examination with this microscope will be much more comfortable for the patient than the current unpleasant invasive procedure of “scrapes” and will enable much better diagnosis.

Patients will be referred from all over the south-west of England & Wales for this procedure.

22 March 2019

Moorwood Art is a contemporary fine art gallery in an ancient bluebell wood in Bruton, Somerset.  Artists' work is presented within a relaxed home environment and sculpture is displayed within the surrounding gardens and woodland. 

The Friends were delighted that Moorwood Art made us their charity of the year for their Art Show 2019.


The Show, which ran for two weeks in March this year, displayed the work of 45 artists, including paintings, sculpture, wood turning and pottery.  The Show was attended by a lot of people both in the evening events and by appointment during the days, and raised £1,000 for the Friends.

Camilla Drinkall, who has organised the annual Moorwood Art Show since 2010, chose the Friends as their charity of the year because of the excellent care and treatment given by Bristol Eye hospital to her husband Philip when he suffered from very bad short sight and had two lens implants in 2018.

‘Moorwood Art holds these exhibitions each year ... people come to view the art in a warm home setting, see friends, buy art, make artists happy that red dots have appeared by their piece and also raise money for a charity.  It’s a very easy place to imagine the art perhaps back at home.  I recommend going along to one of their evenings.”  This is feedback from a past buyer.

1 April 2019 updated 28 June 2019

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Camilla Drinkall

01749 813340 or 07956 967429

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Camilla Drinkall presenting the cheque to Friends’ Treasurer Simon St Leger-Harris

Friends of Bristol Eye Hospital and Above & Beyond purchase sight-saving equipment to help premature babies


Friends of Bristol Eye Hospital and Above & Beyond have combined to purchase a Forus Neo Portable Wide-angled Retinal Camera to help Bristol Eye Hospital staff diagnose early eye problems in babies and young children to help prevent them from losing their sight.

The state-of-the-art retinal camera has a specially designed wide-angled lens that can give doctors a unique close up view of blood vessels behind the eye.

It’s also portable, so besides being used in the Bristol Eye Hospital it can also be taken to St Michael’s Hospital and the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit of the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. 


The new camera, which incorporates the latest technology, will replace two previous cameras that had also been funded by Friends of Bristol Eye Hospital some years ago and which since then have helped more than 1,000 babies.

Consultant Ophthalmologist Cathy Williams said “The new camera has transformed the speed and efficiency with which we can get high quality pictures of our baby patients, both the premature ones and those with unexplained head injuries.

“Our previous equipment, now obsolete, was heavy and difficult to manoeuvre and so we were limited to how many babies we could see in a session.  Indeed, there were some wards we couldn’t visit at all as it was too difficult to transport the machine.

“This special camera is able to take images of the blood vessels behind a baby’s eye which are required for rapid diagnosis and then effective treatment.”

Consultant colleague Vivi Choleva explained that more than half of all premature babies have a blinding condition at the back of the eye.  If it is found in time it can be treated, but if not then although they might survive, they will have detached retinas and will be blind.  The survival rate for premature babies has improved significantly over recent years, but it means the Bristol Eye Hospital is seeing more babies with severe problems with their eyesight” she said.

16 July 2019