Category Archives: News

Britain in Bloom judges visit the Willows Garden

On Monday 7 August the Britain in Bloom judges visited the Willows Garden as part of their tour around Sherborne.

Britain in Bloom judges Keith and Susan with garden volunteers Rosalind and Rosie

Sherborne in Bloom was invited to enter this competition after the town was a joint winner of the South West in Bloom Champion of Champions competition in 2016.

They are competing with seven other towns of similar size in England, Wales and Scotland to win top marks from the judges.

78 other towns, cities, and villages across the UK are also competing, but will have to wait until October to hear how they have done.

Live Well Event, Monday 19 June

As part of this enterprise, which aimed to offer information encouraging healthy and safe lifestyles, the Friends of the Yeatman Hospital joined with a number of organisations in the Out-patients Physiotherapy department, where they displayed information showing some of the ways they had enhanced facilities at the hospital.

Unfortunately there were a limited number of visitors, which could perhaps be attributed to the heatwave of the time, when it was sensible to just take things easy and stay at home!

Anyone visiting the main Out-patient department at the Yeatman Hospital can see the display stand in the waiting room there.

Out-patient display stand


Fabulous Garden Party

By kind invitation of Dr and Mrs Robin Odgers, the beautiful quintessential English garden of Corton Denham House was made available for the Friends to host a summer Garden Party.  On a perfect sunny evening, guests enjoyed strolling in the five acres of stunning gardens. They also enjoyed drinks, light refreshments, and the raffle with some very generous prizes. Altogether a wonderful evening. For those not able to attend, the gardens can be viewed on

Chairman David thanks host Dr Robin Odgers for kindly making his garden available to the Friends

(click on a pic to see a slideshow of the garden)

Fantastic News from the Co-op

Co-op Triumph benefits Friends of the Yeatman Hospital

The Committee were approached by the Co-op in 2016, inviting them to be one of a shortlist of charities to benefit from their Local Community Support scheme.

In mid March the Friends heard that they had accrued just over £1,000 through the scheme, with just a few weeks remaining to gather more votes.  Following an appeal through a letter in the BVM, a last minute sprint finish of votes resulted in the amazing boost in their allocation of funds to £2,903.

Sincere thanks to the Co-op for choosing the Friends as a beneficiary, to Co-op members who voted for them, and to the BVM for publishing their letter of appeal for votes.

 We are enormously grateful to both the Co-op and participating members for this wonderful outcome.

Shop Manager Mandy Fordham and her Team Manager Mike Thomas presented a cheque for £2,903 raised through the Co-op Local Community Support Fund to Chairman of the Friends of the Yeatman Hospital, David Hayes, left, and Treasurer Gordon McAndrew

Friends fund Anniversary Display Cabinet

150th Anniversary Display Cabinet

In celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Yeatman Hospital, the Friends commissioned a cabinet to display artefacts relating to the founding of the hospital in honour of Harry Farr Yeatman, and other historic items.

One of the items displayed is the Royal Red Cross medal awarded in 1918 to Ada Kearvell, who was Matron from 1908 to 1934.

Ada Kearvell, Royal Red Cross Medal

This was awarded in recognition of the exceptional service she gave to British soldiers at the Yeatman Hospital during the war.

This is an old photograph of her after she had received her medal from King George V at Buckingham Palace. 

Ada Kearvell (left) after receiving her Royal Red Cross medal at Buckingham Palace, 1918

The new suite in the Willows Ward which the Friends have funded is named in her honour.   The Display Cabinet is located in Out-patient Reception.

Have you heard about our PiP scheme?

PiP stands for Pound in the Pot, and the scheme has been earning funds for the Friends since 2013.

The process is very simple, and is used by anyone who would like to help the Friends, the only necessities being some goodwill, any collecting pot of your choice, an envelope, and some friends to join you.

Funds are raised by inviting your friends to pop a donation in your pot when they join you for any event, whether for lunch, coffee, a BBQ, a drinks party, a game of bridge/tennis/anything, or any other occasion.

PiP board with secure collection box

It is suggested that the contribution is seen as a gesture of goodwill to help the Friends in their ongoing support the Yeatman Hospital, and not as a measure of your kind hospitality.

The Friends ask you to kindly gather your collection in an envelope, and post it in the secure box attached to  our Pound in the Pot board.  This is located in Out-patient reception at the Yeatman.

More recently, the scheme has expanded to embrace an “Alternative Invitation”.  If you are happy to invite your guests to come empty-handed, but to make a donation to the Friends in lieu of any gift to you, (using the same collection system), then you would be offering “An Alternative Invitation”, thereby helping the Friends. This scheme also works well if you feel that you don’t need lots of Birthday presents! Whatever form of “Donations Do” you choose, your contributions will be most welcome.

The Friends are grateful to all, many anonymous, who have contributed to this scheme.   The total raised to July 2019 is £3,472 and will continue to run long-term.

New Ophthalmology Department

The new Ophthalmology Department, substantially funded by the Friends, is now operational and offers the following out-patient services for patients of Yeovil consultants:

  • Glaucoma Clinics
  • Cataract Clinics
  • Ocular Plastic Clinics
  • Optometrist Clinics
  • Nurse-led Pre-Assessment Clinics

The Friends are delighted that this should benefit many patients.

Opening of Don Mildenhall Room

Sarah Hill cuts the ribbon with Anne Hiscock (Matron Yeatman Hospital) and Mike Hatch (President of Friends of Yeatman Hospital) Picture by Terry Fisher

Sarah Hill, daughter of the late Don Mildenahll, officially opened the newly refurbished Day Room on the Willows wards.

Don had been associated with the Friends over many years, latterly as their President, so the Day Room has now been re-named the Don Mildenhall Room in his honour.

Willows Garden Award

The Willows Garden has been judged ‘Outstanding’

The award was presented at the South West in Bloom prize giving ceremony at Taunton Cricket Ground on 6 October 2016.

Sherborne in Bloom enters gardens every year into the South West region of the ‘Britain in Bloom’ competition. Being the first time the Willows had been entered, the garden volunteers were delighted to be given the highest level award.

The landscaping of the Willows garden was organised by the Friends, and provides a variety of peaceful locations for patients and their visitors to relax “off-ward”. It is wheelchair and occasionally bed-friendly.

Change of Chairman

At their AGM in July 2016, the Friends of the Yeatman Hospital saw the retirement of their much-loved Chairman of nine years, Mike Hatch, (seen on right of photograph), and warmly welcomed David Hayes, CBE, as his successor.

Mike worked tirelessly during his nine-year term as Chairman, and helped the Friends secure many improvements at the Hospital.  Amongst the more recent and significant of these has been the establishment of the new Ophthalmology Department, (now fully operational), and the major refurbishment of the Day Room in the Willows.

He was invariably involved in the Friends Fundraising events, and it was hard for anyone to match his energy and commitment.  He has earned a well-deserved rest from Chairman’s duties, but we are delighted to report that Mike has accepted the invitation to become President of the Friends.

David has been active on the Committee since July 2015, and the Friends are very fortunate that he has now become our Chairman.  David served his full career with the Gurkhas, with his final post being Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas.  He has been a trustee of the Gurkha Welfare Trust (GWT) almost consistently since 1997. This Trust delivers welfare and aid to the retired Gurkhas and their communities throughout Nepal, including the issues of welfare pensions, school builds, water projects and medical care.  He has also been involved in developing the Trust’s response to the Nepal earthquake of 2015.

The Friends are fortunate to have such strong leadership, and we do hope that David will enjoy your continued and greatly valued support.