THE Friends of Winchester Hospital Charity has donated £21,000 to the Royal Hampshire County Hospital for items of medical equipment supporting patient comfort and recovery.

An additional £6,000 has been given by the Friends to the Winchester Hospice Appeal, making a total of £181,000 donated to the new facility.

The two cheques were presented at the recent 64th annual meeting of the Friends.

Members were advised that the management of the Winchester Friends would be transferred to the Hampshire Medical Fund Charity early in the New Year.

“We have agreed with the HMF that, in order to fully exploit the fundraising potential for the RHCH here in Winchester, we need to utilize their full-time fundraising resources”, said retiring Friends chairman, Richard Chisnell.

“The HMF has already established a network of individual and company contacts throughout the Basingstoke, Winchester and Andover hospital areas and has raised in excess of £500,000 towards their ambitious funding target for the current financial year.

The Winchester Friends will remain in existence, to allow any local resident or company to donate or bequeath monies exclusively for the Winchester hospital.

Mr Chisnell said the Friends are indebted to the many loyal members for their support over the last 64 years and particularly the volunteers who have served as trustees or committee members. “We hope that Winchester residents will wish to continue their involvement, by supporting the events promoted by the Hampshire Medical Fund, who will be announcing further plans for fundraising over coming months”