Thank you, Gail

In September 2021 Gail Glew, one of Bristol Eye Hospital’s ward nurses, completed 50 years’ service for the NHS in Bristol.  She has dedicated her entire nursing career to the care of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust’s patients, so this truly is a lifetime achievement.  Although the Trust does have long service badges, there is none which recognizes this extraordinarily long period of service.  So BEH asked us if we would make a modest contribution to pay for food and refreshments to allow Gail’s colleagues to mark the occasion in a small and appropriately distanced celebration.  We were delighted to do so and we say a heartfelt “Thank you!” to Gail on behalf of the Friends and all the patients she has cared for since 1971.

5 April 2022, archived on 3 August
David Easty 1933-2022 Friends' Chairman 2003-09

Professor David Easty 1933-2022

It was with sadness that we learnt of the death in January 2022 of David Easty, for 27 years Consultant in Ophthalmology at Bristol Eye Hospital, the first Professor of Ophthalmology at Bristol University, founder of the National Eye Research Centre (now Sight Research UK) and Chairman of Friends of Bristol Eye Hospital from 2003 until 2009.

David was a member of the Friends from 1979 and a loyal supporter.  We were honoured and delighted when, after retiring from a long and distinguished career in the course of which corneal transplant surgery was transformed, he became our Chairman.  During his tenure he instituted numerous fundraising events and activities which increased our profile, doubled our revenue from such events and set a new standard.

A patient recently wrote: “David Easty was my corneal consultant for nearly 20 years and performed a complicated transplant on a congenital glaucoma eye.  The care he gave me through a succession of post-operative problems was second to none.  Nothing was too much trouble and he supported me through many crises.  I felt we were in it together and that he wanted the better vision I craved almost as much as I did.” – a heart-felt tribute giving a patient’s perspective on David’s skill and care as a consultant.

We remember David with huge gratitude and affection.

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23 March 2022,  archived on 29 July 2022

Friends’ Trustees Annual Report & Accounts 2022

Our Trustees’ Annual Report and Accounts for the year ended 28 February 2022 were approved by the members at our Annual General Meeting held online on 10 May 2022..  You may read or download a copy here.

Trustees’ Report & Accounts 2022
17 May 2022,  archived on 26 July 2022
Alex Sherman at The Old Forge Inn, Whitminster

Fundraising at The Old Forge Inn, Whitminster

Following an operation at the hospital, Alex Sherman, the Manager of The Old Forge Inn in Whitminster near Gloucester, was so pleased with the care received at Bristol Eye Hospital that he organised a series of fundraising events at the Inn.

Despite events and numbers attending often being limited by the pandemic, he raised £318 (including Gift Aid).

22 December 2021, archived on 26 July 2022

Thank you, Peter

Peter Turner stood down at our AGM after over 19 years as a trustee.  He first came to a Friends’ meeting in January 2002 after hearing a talk from Consultant Ophthalmologist Mike Potts to the Bristol Society of Opticians.  Peter was elected as a trustee in May 2002 and served without a break until July 2021.

Peter is the third generation Optometrist now running his family’s practice Turners Opticians.  In addition he works part time as a Senior Optometrist in the glaucoma & cataract clinics at Bristol Eye Hospital.  In common with most health care providers at this time, he is catching up on a backlog of around nine months’ work as well as dealing with the current workload, so his commitments to his patients and to his wife and growing family of three are keeping him fully occupied.

Peter’s knowledge, experience, opinion and advice have been an invaluable help to his fellow trustees.  It’s been a long and happy association and we thank him so much for the many years of service and support he has given to the Friends.

3 August 2021 archived on 21 March 2022
Chairman Dinah Harrison

New Chairman and Secretary

At the trustees’ meeting following our online AGM on Tuesday 24 November 2020, Richard Markham confirmed that he would be retiring from the office of Chairman.  We are very grateful to Richard for being our Chairman for 4½ years and for agreeing to stay on longer than he intended because our AGM was delayed by the pandemic.  He continues as a trustee.

Dinah Harrison was elected by the trustees as our new Chairman, after serving as our Secretary for an astonishing 43 years.  Wendy Beatty was elected as our new Secretary.

We are delighted that Dinah and Wendy have taken on these important roles.

Dinah is our eighth Chairman and Wendy just our third Secretary since our foundation in 1977.

30 November 2020, archived on 26 July 2021
Janet Coakham

Janet Coakham

Janet Coakham, who died on 16 March 2020, was a trustee of the Friends for 15 years (1988 to 2004) and Vice-Chairman for 12½ years.  She was pleased to be able to do something for the hospital staff and patients as she was so grateful for the laser treatment which saved her vision.

She was the first editorial assistant of the British Journal of Neurosurgery which started at Frenchay in 1987.  She single-handedly saved it when the editor unexpectedly resigned and she ran it herself for two years until a new editor was appointed in 1992.  It is now a well-established international journal.

Janet had a quiet, unassuming manner and natural charm.  She was an utterly reliable practical help, especially when it came to organizing fund-raising social events.  She was kind, fun to be with and an elegant and reassuring presence on all occasions.  Friends’ Chairman Richard Markham said “She is and will be sadly missed by a very great number of people in Bristol”.

27 October 2020, moved to archive 5 May 2021

Mark Carwardine

In September 2019, celebrated zoologist, wildlife photographer and environmentalist Mark Carwardine gave a most entertaining illustrated presentation at Ashton Court Mansion on his “Travels and Tribulations of a Zoologist” around the world.

100 supporters thoroughly enjoyed the show which raised £1,500 for the Friends.

Ashcombe Park Bowling Club Captains’ Day 2019

Bowling club’s charity of the year 2019

Friends of Bristol Eye Hospital was Ashcombe Park Bowling Club‘s Charity of the Year for 2019.  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.”

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

27 March 2019, updated 5 May 2021
Camilla Drinkall presenting the cheque to Friends’ Treasurer Simon St Leger-Harris

Moorwood Art Show 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 in 2019. The show, which ran for two weeks in March, displayed the work of 45 artists, including paintings, sculpture, wood turning and pottery – 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 as he suffered from very bad short sight and had two lens implants in 2018.

1 April 2019, updated 28 June 2019

GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation requires us to protect personal data, inform trustees, volunteers, members and other supporters what data we hold for them, how we use it, and how it can be viewed, amended or deleted.  In May 2018, we wrote to all members and supporters setting out how we comply with GDPR.  You can view our current Privacy Policy here:

Privacy Policy

If you have any question about the data we may hold for you or wish us to amend or delete anything, please contact the Secretary.

17 May 2018, last updated 31 July 2020, archived 27 September 2021