Seventy years young and still going strong!

3rd August 2022


July was a busy month for the Friends of the Yeatman Hospital reaching the end of its 70th anniversary year.

Local MP, Chris Loder hosted a summer reception in Sherborne for guests who have supported, and contributed to, Friends fund raising events since its inception.

Mr Loder commented;

“The Friends of the Yeatman hospital has been an integral part of our community for 70 years.

I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the volunteers, and thank those who have donated funds to the Friends, allowing the charity to maintain its aims and objectives for the past 7 decades.”

The patron for the Anniversary, Richard Hunt, chairman of Hunt’s Food Services, was presented with his portrait painted by Georgia Burton, a 6th year pupil at Sherborne Girls School.

Two weeks later, and thanks to the generosity of Edward and Maria Wingfield Digby, Sherborne Castle was the perfect setting for the Friends of the Yeatman Hospital to celebrate its 70th anniversary and to say thank you to a number of long-time supporters of the charity, retiring Trustees and to announce the appointment of four new trustees.

David Hayes, Chairman of the Friends, welcomed 45 guests to the Orangery, where he expressed the gratitude of the Friends to all who had supported the charity during its 70 year history, from Sherborne and beyond.

“During our 70 year history the Friends has established itself as an integral part of Sherborne life. One only has to mention the word Friends, and the charity is recognised immediately.

“I am sure our founders would be pleased to know their decisions and aims, to support the fledgling NHS in 1952, remain as strong today as they were 70 years ago. The success of the Friends has always been reliant on three groups of people; the generosity of the people in Sherborne and surrounding villages; the management and staff of the Yeatman and Dorset Healthcare, and most important of all the stream of willing volunteers who have worked to achieve the aims of our humble and local charity.

“It is particularly pleasing that while celebrating our 70th anniversary year, despite the impact of Covid, the Friends continue to support local healthcare projects at the Yeatman and in the wider community – we shall announce our achievements at the AGM in September.

“We are particularly indebted to Matron Ali Low and her staff for their unstinting commitment to keep our community healthy, which, in light of the pandemic, is an outstanding achievement.

Hayes took the opportunity to thank Yeatman Hospital chaplain, Reverend Jane Craw, for her tireless support to patients in the Yeatman, offering comfort to patients and recently bereaved families. He also acknowledged the immense support of the local Chamber of Commerce, various Sherborne businesses and of course the Sherborne Town Council’s loyal support of the Friends.

“To everything there is a season, and for some of us, our time with the Friends is ending. Liz Turnbull, Peter Neal and myself will be stepping down at this year’s AGM, and I am taking this opportunity to recognise their exceptional service and achievements as highly valued Trustees and to express our Charity’s gratitude to them, and say thank you.

“I am pleased to introduce and welcome four new trustees, Belinda Wingfield Digby, Cheryl Whybrew, Sir Christopher Coville and John Stokoe who, with my successor, Fiona Hartley, will continue to meet and exceed the aims of the Friends and its work in the hospital and the different Sherborne communities it serves today.”

In closing Mr Hayes thanked Edward and Maria Wingfield Digby for their support and generosity in allowing the Friends to host this important reception at Sherborne Castle.


Further information:

Linsley Withers


Friends of the Yeatman Hospital

07903 955024

Nick Baker

Nick Baker