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Princess Royal Hospital’s League of Friends Launches New Appeal

Dedicated volunteers at Haywards Heath’s Princess Royal Hospital have just launched their latest fundraising appeal: the Dame Vera Lynn Periwinkle Appeal.

The new fundraising initiative aims to raise money to update specialist equipment in each unit of the hospital – a challenge in itself, but if anyone can do it, it’s the League of Friends, who over the last twenty-five years, alone, have donated in excess of £2.5 million to the local hospital.

Set up by a group of likeminded residents sixty years ago this year, the PRH League of Friends have been instrumental in helping Mid Sussex’s main hospital purchase essential equipment and amenities to benefit patients, staff and visitors. Just recently, £365,000 has been given to the Hospital Trust with beneficiaries including the Endoscopy Suite (£86,400), the Intensive Care Unit (£82,700) and the Rapid Access Medical Unit (£72,800).


“Over the past sixty years the League of Friends has helped to support the hospitals at Cuckfield and Haywards Heath,” volunteer Michael Stratford, explains. “Each of our families and friends have used the local National Health Service at one or the other of these establishments.”

The Dame Vera Lynn Periwinkle Appeal is their latest venture to ensure that the hospital can continue treating the growing population of local residents with up-to-date technology.

“The next two years sees the increased need for specialist equipment in all of the hospital departments,” Michael continues. “The advancement of technology and increase in population means it is essential that we continue to improve our services.”

Named after the League of Friends’ president, Dame Vera Lynn (who celebrates her 99th birthday on 20th March) and the group’s logo, the periwinkle – extracts of which are believed to aid the treatment of leukaemia, Hodgkin’s disease, testicular and other cancerous tumours plus cerebral blood flow, high blood pressure and diabetes – the appeal will incorporate a whole host of fun activities for residents to get involved with!

It also coincides with the League of Friends’ 60th anniversary and marks twenty-five years since the opening of the Princess Royal Hospital (and the transfer of services from Cuckfield), making it a real time for celebration, as Michael explains:

“We will be holding a number of high profile events, including a golf tournament plus black tie dinner, quiz and music nights. We are seeking the assistance of local companies, clubs, associations and individuals to join in or support our appeal and if you believe you could make a difference please make contact!”

One of the first appeal events is a golf tournament on Wednesday 20th April. Starting from 12pm, keen golfers will “tee off” at the Mid Sussex Golf Club, in Ditchling, for an afternoon of golf for a great cause; as all proceeds from this event will go directly to the hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit.

Teams of four are invited to sign up and start practising their swings for the golf day’s Stableford and par 3 competitions. Entry fee costs £200 per team and includes a delicious meal and prizes too. For those of you feeling especially generous, the League of Friends are also looking for raffle prizes and people to sponsor the course holes for the day!

For further information, contact Michael Stratford on 01903 884204/ or alternatively visit the League of Friends’ website: or Facebook page:


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