Medical centre fundraisers need younger blood

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PATIENTS from Spalding’s Pennygate Medical Centre are being urged to support or join an ageing band of volunteers who raise thousands of pounds each year to buy vital equipment for the surgery.

Geoff Perkins (78) chairs a handful of volunteers on the committee of Pennygate Patient Link and says all are retired and give dedicated service to the registered charity.

Mr Perkins says he can’t soldier on forever and would love to see younger people coming forward and more patients attending the annual meeting on March 12.

He said: “If someone wanted to be chairman I would gladly step down.”

The bulk of the money to help the practice run by a single GP – Dr Azmeena Nathu – comes from the charity’s shop on Winsover Road, which has raised around £17,500 over the last three years.

Money has been spent on equipment such as an ECG machine, blood pressure machine, a fridge for storing vaccines and surgical equipment for minor operations.

Supporterd by an 18-strong team of volunteers, committee members Peter Clay, Ted Riches and Kathleen Riches keep the shop open from 10am-4pm Monday-Saturday. One long-standing volunteer, Anne Hand, is in her 90s.

Mr Perkins runs twice yearly quizzes raising about £250 each time, and committee members Carol Modd and Maureen Scantlebury run bingo sessions on the first Friday of the month at Monkshouse Primary School.

Mr Perkins said: “Dr Nathu is a single doctor practice with a little professional help on a locum basis. The committee is very dedicated to helping as much as we can. However we do not receive any help or support from patients of the practice.

“Usually at our annual meetings we are lucky if we get more than six patients attending in addition to staff and committee members. Our next annual meeting is on March 12, at the surgery at 7.30pm, and we would be delighted with a room full of patients.”