Welcome to Friends of Bristol Eye Hospital

Treatment for all patients has been greatly enhanced by our supporters.

For every £1 raised, we spend 95p supporting the hospital, 3p running the charity and 2p on publicity or raising funds.

Become a Friend

Our ‘Support us’ pages show how you can help, including becoming a member for just £5 a year.

Make a donation

You can donate in many ways, including cash, cheques, BACS, text, debit or credit card.

Read our newsletters

Please click the button below if you’d like to look at recent editions of our In Sight magazine.

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grants made
If you are currently planning to visit an NHS hospital in Bristol or Weston, please see:

We recommend that you contact us by telephone or email (details in Contact).  We work from home and post sent to us at the hospital may not be forwarded promptly.  If you need to post anything, please call or email us and we will give you a home address. Thank you.

Team Veolia fundraising

On 28 September, Team Veolia climbed the 886m of Pen y Fan Mountain in support of Friends of Bristol Eye Hospital.

Stuart Elliott, Veolia’s Area Sales Manager South & Wales. said “The team consisted of 7 of us and we spent a great day enjoying the terrific views over Wales whilst raising funds for a great cause.

In total we raised £565 for the Friends to help and support the immense work of the Bristol Eye Hospital.”

We are very grateful to Stuart and his colleagues for this super fundraising.  Many thanks.

2 December 2022

BEH Staff attend Ophthalmic Imaging Conference

We paid for two members of the Imaging Department to attend the Ophthalmic Imaging Association Annual Conference in Swindon.  The OIA promotes good practice, education, training and research in ocular imaging.

Alice Johns, Head of Imaging at BEH, emphasised the huge advantages of BEH Imaging staff attending this conference which would not have been possible without our support.

Both attendees said the conference was educational and enjoyable; they tested new ophthalmic equipment and shared experiences with ophthalmic photographers from other NHS Trusts – all with the same aim of providing outstanding patient care.  They have returned enthused, with new ideas and an increased understanding of conditions and imaging equipment, which they are sharing with their colleagues to improve the quality of imaging to provide a better service for BEH patients.

This grant cost £618.

1 December 2022

Emergency Department Tono-Pens

We have purchased two further Tono-Pens which are used by Emergency Department nurses to assess pressure in patients’ eyes.  A build-up of pressure can be harmful to the eye, and these pens allow a quick and easier way to check.  This improves patient safety and reduces waiting times.

The pens also allow medics to assess in-patients at the Bristol Children’s Hospital, the BRI and Southmead Hospital, which reduces inpatient stays and lessens the number of patients who need to be transferred to the Bristol Eye Hospital Emergency Department.

This grant cost £6,789.

14 November 2022

“PLEASE LOOK INSIDE”

We have a new promotional leaflet “PLEASE LOOK INSIDE” now on display in the hospital.  The leaflet briefly describes what we do, with some examples of grants we’ve made.  It also encourages people to join us, setting out different ways of donating and how to request information.

PLEASE LOOK INSIDE leaflet

The leaflet also contains a loose stand-alone form to join or donate to the Friends.

Donation Form
9 November 2022

Christmas Cards 2022

Our Christmas Cards are now on sale in the Eye Hospital.
Designs available can be seen at reception desks on the ground floor, Level 1 and Level 2 and via the button below.

Each pack costs £3 (regardless of any price shown on the pack).  Packs contain ten cards of the same design plus envelopes.

Cards can be purchased from either of the main reception desks on the ground floor near the main entrance doors.  Sales are open between 8am and 5pm.

You can pay by credit or debit card.  You can also pay by cash but staff will not be able to give you any change (and we receive the excess as a donation).

4 November 2022
Christmas Card Poster 2022

Posture Aids for patients to use at home

Following a suggestion from a patient, we have recently been purchasing posture aids for patients to use at home following retinal surgery.

Using a posture aid attached to the end or side of a normal bed allows a recovering patient to lie face down and keep still for long periods.  They are tremendously helpful both in terms of the comfort for a patient and, by keeping the head still, aiding recovery and outcomes after retinal surgery.  Doing this without a posture aid is very difficult and can be painful or cause strain to the back or neck.

The hospital has not recently had sufficient posture aids to allow patients to take them home nor facilities to sterilise aids returned after use.  For this reason, we have agreed that aids given to patients do not need to be returned after use.

We were delighted to fulfil an important need and are grateful to the patient for this very practical proposal.

To date we have provided 21 posture aids at a cost of £1,435 and continue to purchase them when required.

4 November 2022, last updated 2 December

100 years' dedicated service

Bristol Eye Hospital is deeply honoured to have had not one but two members of staff who served the hospital and its patients for over 50 years.  Gail Glew and Jenny Ward both retired in July 2022 after 51 years’ service.  This outstanding story of extraordinary loyalty and devotion is truly remarkable; many many patients and other hospital staff are very privileged to have benefitted from their expertise and devotion since 1971.  We are very proud of you both.

We were delighted to agree to the hospital’s request for funds to subsidise the cost of a retirement celebration for Gail and Jenny, especially to ensure that as many staff as possible could attend.  176 staff, former staff and other guests attended a wonderful event at the Bristol Museum on 2 July.

This grant cost £5,730.

4 November 2022

New Lockers for Staff in Outpatients

We have bought ten 3-door lockers for the Outpatients department staff changing room on level 2.  The previous lockers were very old and rusty.  Many of the doors had bent out of shape and no longer closed and the locks were all broken.  Staff had no adequate space to keep their belongings while at work; bags often had to be left on the floor.

With new lockers, the staff changing room is a much nicer – and tidier! – environment.

This grant cost £1,093.

10 August 2022

In Sight 2022

Our 2022 issue of In Sight has been published and distributed to all members and supporters who have requested copies (either by post or email).  It is also available from display racks in the hospital (which also contain a leaflet describing how you can help the Friends or donate).

You can view or download copies now at In Sight.

26 July 2022, updated 1 August

Friends' New Telephone Number

We have a new telephone number: 0300 102 4556.

Calls to this number are free from UK landlines and mobiles.

1 August 2022

Dr Paul Spry Memorial

We contributed £595 towards the cost of a memorial service for Dr Paul Spry held in the hospital’s Robert Dickson garden for staff on 6 July 2022.

Paul Spry, who was Head of Optometry (& guitarist in BEH’s resident band), died suddenly and prematurely in August 2021.  This was tragic news to all his colleagues who felt he was irreplaceable.  He had set up the electrodiagnostic department; had a distinguished academic career; was a fantastic colleague to work with, combining very high standards with fun; always ready to go the extra mile to help diagnosis and to benefit patients.

The BEH leadership team waited for a suitable moment when distancing restrictions had been lifted to allow a group meeting to reflect on Paul’s career and his exceptional contributions to the hospital, its staff and its patients.

31 July 2022

Orthoptic Examination Chairs for Children and Adults

We have bought nine examination chairs for the Orthoptic Department.

These chairs, suitable for children and adults, benefit staff and patients.  They can be raised so the Orthoptist can assess a child at eye level for patient comfort and prevent back strain for Orthoptists.  They are sturdy, have arm rests, with a solid base to prevent tipping and are wipe clean.  They can also be locked into position to prevent a child spinning in the chair when being tested.

The Friends have supported the purchase of these chairs (and in the outpatients department previously), as NHS funding to replace existing chairs is not currently prioritised over other more critical equipment.

This grant cost £6,858.

31 July 2022

``Everything I Can See``

Emma Don held an exhibition entitled “Everything I Can See” at Cardiff School of Art & Design from 8 to 14 June 2022.

Emma raised funds for Friends of Bristol Eye Hospital in thanks for treatment and care she has received for anterior uveitis at Bristol Eye Hospital since 2012.

“Eyesight is such an important sense for everyone, and this becomes even more so on receiving a diagnosis adversely affecting that.”

Emma specialises in 3D stop motion animation which is a very visual medium.  However she incorporates audio into her work to make it more accessible for the visually impaired.  You can see the video that was included in her exhibition here.

24 March 2022, updated 8 September
Support Emma’s Fundraiser

Thank you to all our wonderful supporters

We strive to thank all our donors promptly – unless donors specifically ask us not to thank them.

We receive many donations from people who choose to remain anonymous or who do not give us any means of contacting them to say thank you. We regret being unable to thank such donors other than by expressing our grateful appreciation here.

There are also currently more than 60 people who donate regularly – and some have done so for many years.  The number of such donors and the total they donate increases steadily every year.  We do not thank you regularly but please be assured that your donations are very warmly received and we are most grateful for your ongoing support.

27 September 2021

New “hyperlegible” website typeface

For the benefit of visually impaired readers, this website now uses the Atkinson Hyperlegible typeface, which was recently developed for the Braille Institute of America.

The typeface is named after Braille Institute founder, J. Robert Atkinson. What makes it different from traditional typographic design is its focus on ensuring that individual characters cannot be confused with one another, ultimately improving readability. Also, the shaping of the letters is exaggerated to provide better clarity and the open areas of certain letters are expanded to provide greater distinction.

The Braille Institute has made the typeface free for anyone to use.

16 March 2022

Our new typeface makes it easier to distinguish characters that are commonly confused.

Wonderful service

DONATE BY BANK TRANSFER.  We incur no charges for donations made by Open Banking transfer using Wonderful Payments, or by BACS.

DONATE BY CARD.  Operated by Donorbox.

DONATE BY OTHER METHODS, eg Cheque, Cash or Text.

You can Gift Aid your donation or, if you wish to become a member of the Friends, request correspondence from us or let us know of any particular reason why you are donating, perhaps in thanks for treatment or in memory of someone, you can do all these:

  • online if donating by card or
  • by completing a donation form, which you can download or pick up in the hospital.
16 July 2021, updated 8 September 2022

From our archives

A young patient admires the inmates of the aquarium purchased by the Friends in 2011 in the then-new children’s unit in the Outpatient Department on Level 1.  The aquarium has been maintained by the Friends ever since and remains very popular with children.