The Friends of Savernake Hospital and the Community


We are the Friends of Savernake Hospital and the Community (otherwise known as “the Friends”).


We are a charity set up to support individuals and organisations involved in healthcare both at Savernake Hospital and in the wider community, with the aim of enhancing the quality of life of those affected by ill health and or disability, and supporting their care and wellbeing.

Whether you want to know more about the trustees of the charity and what we do, find out about what goes on at Savernake Hospital, apply for a grant or join or support the Friends, you are in the right place.

Take a wander through the website, and if there is anything we can help you with, please contact us.


Grants available to support health and well-being in the local community – over £45,000 given in grants in 2017! 

Alzheimer’s Support – a support worker and client – recent beneficiaries of a grant from the Friends

Are you a local voluntary organisation, charity or healthcare provider helping people manage ill-health or disability?

Are you looking for financial support to help purchase health-related equipment, for a health-related project or ongoing costs?

If so, why not consider contacting the Friends for a grant?

Click here to find out more.



2017 – A Bumper Year for Grants – and Grant Applicants

Did you know…?   The Friends gave a record amount of over £45,000 in grants in 2017!

If you are a local charity, voluntary group or other body helping to improve the lives of those suffering from health issues and disabilities and are seeking funding, the Friends would be delighted to consider your grant application. Grants of up to £10,000 will be considered.


Updates from grant recipients

The Friends are always delighted to receive updates from grant recipients to hear how the grants provided by the Friends have helped to make a difference to those in the local community who suffer from ill-health and disabilities.  Click here to read the positive feedback we have received from members of the Great Bedwyn Mobility and Friendship Group who were given a grant in late 2017.

In recent months various members of our committee have had the opportunity to visit a session held by Arts Together, see the work done to create a new children’s hospice in Devizes by Julia’s House, and most recently to attend an exclusive preview of Marlborough St. Mary’s Primary School, who recently received a grant to purchase equipment for a sensory room which will benefit pupils at the school who have a range of special educational and complex needs.


A successful 60th AGM

The Friends held a very successful AGM at the Marlborough Town Hall on the evening of 10 May.

Jane Leighton, Trusts Fundraiser (left), for Brighter Futures with Catherine Newman, Head of Fundraising (centre) receive the grant award cheque of £10,000 from Friends Committee Member, Pat Harper. (Photograph courtesy of Neil Goodwin,


Three grants were awarded to recent grant applicants: Brighter Futures received £10,000 towards equipping the new radiotherapy centre at GWH, Swindon which is due to open in April 2019.  The Friends’ grant is to be matched by the Greenham Common Trust – which provides a further boost to the appeal target of £2.9 million.  Catherine Newman, Head of Fundraising, who attended the AGM to accept the cheque, spoke of how providing radiotherapy at GWH Swindon will be the biggest improvement in cancer care that GWH, Swindon and North Wiltshire communities have ever seen.

Trusts Fundraiser, Jane Leighton, who also attended from Brighter Futures, announced the wonderful news that the radiotherapy appeal had now hit the £1.5million mark.

“It really has been an incredible two years and made even more special by the support we have received from you, the Friends of Savernake Hospital and the Community.  You very kindly made your first donation of £10,000 back in July 2015 just after the appeal launched, setting us off to a great start.  Tonight we are celebrating again with you after receiving another £10,000 which will be matched pound for pound by Greenham Common Trust…. Words cannot express how grateful we are for your continued support.”

Marlborough St Mary’s Head Teacher, Anne Schwodler (left), accompanied by Chair of Governors, Mark Thomas receive the grant award cheque from Pat Harper of the Friends. (Photograph courtesy of Neil Goodwin,

A cheque for £4,000 was then presented to Anne Schwodler, head teacher of Marlborough St. Mary’s Primary School.  The grant will support about 20 of the school’s children who have a range of special educational and complex needs.  Specifically, the grant will be used to assist with the purchase of equipment for a sensory room for two “Resource Bases” in the school’s new building.



Jean and Alan Mayston, along with Julia McNeill from Arts Together receive the grant awards cheque from Pat Harper of the Friends. (Photograph courtesy of Neil Goodwin,




Finally a cheque for £4,250 was handed to Jean and Alan Mayston, members of the Marlborough “Arts Together” group.  Both Jean and Alan spoke with enthusiasm about the benefits of Arts Together.

Since 2000 Arts Together has worked with very frail, isolated older people to counteract the damaging effects of social isolation and extreme loneliness.  The aim of Arts Together is to improve members’ health and wellbeing using a variety of professional art projects to provide that all-important stimulation and social interaction.

The Arts Together Wellbeing Service ensures that all members, whatever their disability are able to attend their groups, participate fully in activities and are able to access additional health or social care support if the need arises.

The Friends’ guest speaker was Dr Anna Collings of the Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership, who spoke about the recent merger between Marlborough Medical Practice and Pewsey Surgery. She spoke of the progress that had been made by the two general practices as a result of the merger, whilst acknowledging the continuing strains put on general practices, not just locally but nationwide.  Dr Collings’ topic was extremely informative and drew many comments, suggestions and questions from an attentive audience which included conservative candidate for Devizes, Claire Perry.

For more details of recent grants provided by the Friends, please click here.



Friends’ History Project Attracts University Interest

The Friends’ History Project has attracted attention from academics at Warwick University.  Click here to read more.

The hospital donkey cart postcard

The hospital donkey cart postcard

The Friends keep an archive of Savernake Hospital’s past, and we’re continually adding to the history pages on our website following the memorable history exhibition held by us in 2009.  It provides a fascinating insight into local social history.

Thanks to the continuing work of former committee member, Val Compton, we have an historical “Who’s Who” page on our website covering Charles Ponting, Matron Lavington, Matron Blackwell, Rev J O Stephens, Samuel Farmer, Jack Spratt and Sir George Gilbert Scott – all individuals who made a significant contribution to Savernake Hospital through the decades.  Click here to read about their involvement- and that of a donkey(!) – with Savernake Hospital.

Click here to read more.


News and Events

For information about recent news or upcoming events, please look at our ‘Latest News‘ page, and we hope you will support us.

Read our article reminding members of the public how to use community defibrillators, which we have prepared with the assistance of The Community HeartBeat Trust.  It also tells you the locations of the community defibrillators which the Friends installed.


Give as you Live – shop with your favourite stores and raise a donation for The Friends

Help The Friends Of Savernake Hospital And The Community just by shopping online.  Shop with your favourite stores and a donation will be made to the Friends without costing you a penny extra.  Shop at thousands of leading stores like Amazon, Expedia and John Lewis.

Get started raising money for The Friends Of Savernake Hospital And The Community today by clicking here.


Our Hospital Shop

Knitted delights made by our talented volunteers

We have a daily presence in Savernake Hospital through our fabulous little shop (including a trolley shop) staffed by volunteers.  Learn more about this on our dedicated Shop page.

Do pop in and have a browse – you’ll find us in the Reception area just in front of the café.



Community defibrillators – how you could help save a life

A few years ago the Friends funded the purchase of 10 community defibrillators for Marlborough and two adjoining parishes.

Community Defibrillator

Community Defibrillator

The Friends have an ongoing financial commitment to their maintenance.

The Friends have also run occasional defibrillator “Training Days” in Marlborough. The last one was held on October 23rd 2013, and over 300 people came along to learn about CPR and how to use a defibrillator.

For those of you that were not able to attend the training day, or who would like a refresher on when and how to use a defibrillator if an emergency arises, please click here to read our article “Community defibrillators – how you could help save a life” which we have prepared with the assistance of The Community HeartBeat Trust.  It also tells you the locations of the community defibrillators which the Friends installed.defib day boys

Click here to read more about the defibrillator training day and for photos.









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