Royal Voluntary Service Café at Stirling Community Hospital Transformed Thanks to Generous Donations

A ceremony has taken place to thank the local organisations whose generous donations have helped transform the Royal Voluntary Service cafe at Stirling Community Hospital.

The Friends of Stirling Community Hospital, a local charity which supports a wide range of initiatives across the hospital, donated £150,000 to help the Royal Voluntary Service completely refurbish and relocate its existing café to a larger, more prominent location within the hospital. This funding was matched by NHS Forth Valley as part of a wider £2 million investment programme to upgrade the outpatient clinic and main reception areas.

The café, which has been renamed Tea & Co, attracts a huge number of visitors, patients and staff every day who enjoy a range food and drink options as well as a warm welcome from its 28 volunteers.

The Royal Voluntary Service has been providing services on the Stirling hospital site since 1968. As well as preparing and serving food and drinks, the trained, caring volunteers signpost older people to other services in their local community and bring comfort, company and compassion to customers.

As part of the celebrations, four Royal Voluntary Service volunteers were awarded their long service medals. These include Pat Middleton, who received a five year medal and Barbara Maak, Barbara Shanks and Clementine Campbell who received their 20 year medals.

Sheila Pheely, age 85, the volunteer who runs the Royal Voluntary Service Tea & Co café at Stirling Community Hospital, said: “I’ve been a Royal Voluntary Service volunteer for 22 years and love running the café at Stirling Community Hospital which I’ve been doing for 20 years.  It’s extremely busy so time flies by and we get lovely feedback from customers who enjoy the lovely bright, modern environment.”

Mark Olliver, Director of Retail for Royal Voluntary Service, said: “This generous donation made to Royal Voluntary Service by the Friends of the Stirling Community Hospital has enabled us to transform the café, making it a brighter, more attractive space for customers to spend time in and, more importantly, a place where visitors can find out

more about the services the Royal Voluntary Service provides to people in hospital and in the local community.

“To be supported in such a way by The Friends of Stirling Community Hospital and NHS Forth Valley is a wonderful compliment to the hard work and dedication shown by our team of volunteers and staff.”

Allan Dewar, Chair of The Friends of Stirling Community Hospital, whose grandfather John Gray started The Society of Friends of Stirling Royal Infirmary in 1948, said: “The Friends of Stirling Community Hospital are delighted to contribute to such a worthwhile project which has made such a difference to patients, visitors and staff and created a much better environment for the Royal Voluntary Service volunteers.”

Alex Linkston, Chair of NHS Forth Valley, said: “The new cafe is part of a wider programme of hospital improvements which has seen the refurbishment of all three outpatient areas along with the main reception and entrance corridor to improve facilities for the hundreds of local patients and staff who visit the hospital each day.”

Royal Voluntary Service has 25,000 dedicated volunteers, who help thousands of people each month in hospital, at home and in the community.  From running dance clubs and lunch clubs to providing companionship on ward in a busy NHS hospital or supporting an older person just home from hospital, these volunteers do simple things which make a big difference.