The Guild of the Royal Hospital of St Bartholomew welcomed a special visit from HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO on Tuesday, 3rd October 2017.

Photo by Phil Moss

During his visit to St Bartholomew’s Hospital The Duke of Gloucester, the charity’s patron, officially opened a redeveloped shop run by Barts Guild and toured patient areas including Critical Care and operating rooms. The Duke also spent time in a hospital garden dedicated to the memory of his mother, Princess Alice.

Founded in 1911, The Guild of the Royal Hospital of St Bartholomew (Barts Guild) has supported St Bartholomew’s Hospital for over a century.

Patrick Jennings, Chairman of The Guild of the Royal Hospital of St Bartholomew, said:

“It is a great honour for all of us at Barts Guild to receive our Patron, HRH The Duke of Gloucester formally to open the redeveloped Guild Shop.

“We are most grateful to Barts Health for allocating the shop space to the Guild and for all their help and support for our work, as well as to The Barts Charity, which helps us in very many ways, to our donors and sponsors who funded the Shop redevelopment and most importantly to our fantastic Volunteers who make all our work possible.”

As a result of the 7,800 hours donated annually by its dedicated volunteers, Barts Guild supports 90,000 visits by patients, staff and shop users each year to its general-provision and souvenir shop in the hospital. Volunteers also bring comfort and companionship to patients through a ward trolley service of useful and attractive provisions.

Barts Guild also supports the hospital through regular grants, most recently enabling an important cardiac research project and the purchase of advanced medical equipment. Regular donations of wheelchairs, TVs, fans and microwave ovens are among other gifts so important to patients’ comfort.

Charles Knight, Managing Director of St Bartholomew’s Hospital, said: “I am delighted to have welcomed HRH The Duke of Gloucester to visit St Bartholomew’s Hospital and open Barts Guild’s redeveloped shop. It was wonderful to celebrate and recognise the fantastic support that the Barts Guild’s volunteers continue to provide to patients, their families and our staff after more than one hundred years. As the first member of The Royal Family to officially visit the new Barts Heart Centre, it was also a pleasure to tour the centre and demonstrate the compassion and commitment of our outstanding teams.”

Over the last decade five long-serving members of Barts Guild have been awarded the Order of Mercy, a nationwide award typically given to only 30 volunteers a year. As has been said on behalf of Barts Guild it is “a proud and fitting record for a membership charity that is relatively small in number, but one high of purpose and resolute of heart”.