logo clean image no colour bar (1).png

Welcome to the website for the Medway League of Friends

based at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, Kent.


We are a Charity which has been established for 50 years and we raise money from the sale of items in our Shops.  These Shops provide a lifeline for the Patients, Visitors & Staff of the Medway Maritime Hospital and the profits are used to purchase beneficial items for various Wards & Departments.

The majority of the team working in the Shops are dedicated volunteers who take pride in keeping our customers satisfied with the essentials of life whether it is a box of tissues, a cup of coffee or a bar of chocolate.

The Medway League of Friends is part of Attend which is the National Association and is their flagship.

Want to know more?  There is more relevant information about the work of the League and its volunteers on this Website and if you still have any queries, please contact us.

Come and join us and make a BIG difference.


The Medway League of Friends as we now know it, was formed 50 years ago and the aim was to have a shop within the then Medway Hospital to enable patients, staff, and visitors who pass through the various departments, to purchase everyday items including a drink, sandwich or a bar of chocolate.


Previously there had been small leagues at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in Rochester and All Saints’ Hospital in Chatham set up in the 1950’s.  It was then decided to combine the small leagues into one organisation incorporating the new Medway Hospital and including the volunteers at Canada House in Gillingham and St. William’s Hospital in Rochester.   This vision created the Charity which has now evolved into a very successful business.


The Mission Statement of the Medway League of Friends is:


“To provide funds and support to enhance the care and welfare of patients, staff and other users of health services in the Medway area”.


Initially the League was set up to provide simple patient comforts.   Requests were received to fund items such as a new television for the day room, replacement curtains or a bedside chair.   These purchases were, and still are, funded from the profits made in the shops through the hospital, and the trolley which visits the wards on a daily basis.


We currently have a large shop in the main entrance of the hospital selling a wide range of items including gifts and refreshments.  We also have a smaller shop in the A & E Department which is open 24/7 and another in the entrance to A Block.  



We have a small team of managerial staff but in the main, patients, visitors and staff are served by our band of volunteers, without whose help the League would not be as successful as it is today.


Some of our volunteers have been with us for over 25 years and at our annual Christmas Lunch and Summer Tea Party, long service certificates are handed out to mark each five year’ of service.


At the last count we had 138 volunteers and we employ 16 staff who work as supervisors, cover the A & E shop at night, undertake the cleaning of our space, and an Operations Manager who does all the organising and co-ordinates our shop activities.


We have one volunteer who has been with us for 36 years and others who are in their 90’s. 


Our volunteers turn out in all weathers and provide that much appreciated warm drink or sandwich.


Many of our volunteers say they take on the role as a way of giving something back to the hospital for the excellent treatment they, or one of their family members has received.


In 2015 we introduced our Star Awards whereby volunteers and staff can be nominated for an award.  This has been a great success and the number of nominations is increasing.   To date the Award winners have been:-


           July 2015                      Chris Russell and Eunice Norman

           September 2015          Adam Dyjak

           December 2015           Kelly McCarten

           March 2016                  Belinda Temblett and Marcia Negus

           June 2016                    Dave East and Hayley Astill

           December 2016           Bob Dyer

           July 2017                      Audrey Thomas, Hazel Peters, Merrlyn Mutton, Ruth Cracknell

           December 2017           Collette McEvoy 

           July 2018                     Jean Stacey

           December 2018           Daniel Climo and Steve Towsey

Our Trustees are: John Spence (President), Derek May (Chairman), Janet Harsent (Vice Chair), Steve Towsey (Treasurer), Colin Silk (Vice Treasurer & Membership Secretary), Marion Cogger (Secretary), Chris Harvey (Whistleblower contact), Eunice Norman (HRM rep), Helen Belcher and Tim Higgins.

Our Committee members are the Trustees plus Scott Belcher (Operations Manager), Sue Stephens/Freda Parish (Volunteer Representatives) and Kelly Pickles (Hospital Representative).



We receive money through donations – customers often put their small change into one of the collecting tins by the tills, or families and friends will remember the League following the death of a loved one and ask for donations to be sent to us rather than flowers.

The Trustees of the League of Friends are always grateful to receive donations from patients and members of the public.   If you would like to make a donation, please send a cheque made payable to The Medway League of Friends to the hospital in an envelope marked "Private & Confidential" and addressed to The Treasurer, Medway League of Friends, Medway Maritime Hospital, Gillingham, Kent  ME7 5NY.


We will acknowledge this once received.   All donations are added to our funds to support bids from wards and departments for much needed equipment and other patient-related items.


Many thanks in advance for your generosity


Here are a few photos of us and our work

Our volunteers
Our Star Award winners
Our shop
The total of our donations over 20 years
Tea Party 2016
Our A&E shop



Needless to say we are always looking to recruit new volunteers.  All new staff receive training for the role they will be undertaking and, apart from working in one of the shops, we also need shelf-stackers to fill up the empty spaces on the displays!


So if you are interested in knowing more, or if you know someone who has a few hours spare each week, please contact us using the details below, or complete the web form.  And do get in touch with us if you’d like to know more about the League or for any other queries.

Medway League of Friends

Medway Maritime Hospital

Windmill Road, Gillingham

Kent, ME7 5NY

Telephone: 01634 830000 ext 3695

email: to be confirmed.

Here's how to contact our Trustees:

John Spence (President), Janet Harsent (Vice Chair) and Chris Harvey (Whistleblowing Contact): a letter marked private & confidential, c/o League of Friends Shop at the address above

Derek May (Chairman):


Steve Towsey (Treasurer):


Marion Cogger (Secretary):


Colin Silk (Vice Treasurer & Membership Secretary):


Eunice Norman (HRM rep):


Thank you, we will be in contact soon.