New shop and café opens at county hospital

A new volunteer-run shop and café has opened at Blyth Community Hospital this week.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s new facility is in the main entrance of the hospital and is open 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday.

Around 20 people have been recruited to volunteer in the shop which is part of the trust’s Hospital Volunteer Service (HVS). It is the first time the trust has opened a shop at a community hospital and it operates in the same way as premises at Wansbeck, North Tyneside and Hexham general hospitals.

Ian McMinn, non-executive director at the trust and chairman of the charitable funds committee, said: “We were really pleased with the response we had from local people wanting to volunteer in the new shop at Blyth hospital and we would like to thank them all for coming forward and for their commitment to our new venture.

“We’ve had a successful first few days and we hope that the thousands of people who come through the doors of the hospital every year will benefit from having the shop and café onsite.”

Money raised in the shop will goes towards improving the hospital environment and health services for the community, and providing the little extras which make a real difference to patients’ experiences.

Northumbria Healthcare has more than 700 volunteers across its sites as part of HVS who carry out a range of roles. These include meeting and greeting patients and visitors at hospital entrances, working in one of the HVS shops, assisting patients at mealtimes and facilitating ward activities.