Pandemic raises profile of town's 'hidden' hospital
By Nicky Carter - Reporter
THE importance Barnard Castle’s Richardson Hospital as a community health facility has been highlighted during its ongoing use as a Covid-19 vaccination clinic.
Officials of the Friends of the Richardson Hospital committee, which raises money to fund the purchase of equipment, said donations and awareness of the hospital have been a happy by-product.
Iris Hillery, of the friends group, said: “People who have been to the vaccination clinic have been ringing up to donate, which is lovely.
“There have been quite a few people who were not aware of the hospital somehow, and the clinic has raised the profile and everybody has said how marvellous it is.”
The charity normally organises a variety of fundraising events throughout the year but since the pandemic has been limited to what they can do.
Volunteers enjoyed a steady stream of customers last Wednesday when they manned the charity stall on Barnard Castle’s market, selling a range of handmade items, from hand turned wooden wands through to homemade jams, cakes, knitted items and jewellery.
Ms Hillery added: “We have been limited to what we can do, but hopefully we’ll be able to do more in the summer. We’re hoping the increased awareness of the hospital will lead to more volunteers getting involved as well.”
Fellow committee member Suzanne Thomas added: “Lots of people are asking questions about what we do.
“I don’t think until the pandemic people realised what they had here. There have been many that didn’t know about the hospital before.”