Conisborough Hospital Sunday – The Voluntary System

July 1923

Mexborough & Swinton Times, July 7

Conisborough Hospital Sunday

The Voluntary System

Example of the Fullerton Hospital Scheme

The 33 rd Conisborough Hospital Sunday demonstration, the proceeds from which are distributed among the hospitals at Denaby, Mexborough, and Doncaster, was held last Sunday, in weather which was inclined to be threatening, but fortunately there was no rain.

There was a procession formed in Denaby, and headed by the Denaby Salvation Army Band, which joined the Conisborough section at Burcroft. From this point the Conisborough Subscription Band headed the procession. They were followed by the Fire Brigade, the Boy Scouts, representatives of friendly societies, the Salvation Army, and Sunday school children. After a tour of the township the procession moved to the Three Acres, which Mr. W. J. Carter once again kindly placed at the disposal of the committee for the “Service of Sacred Music”, which was conducted by Bandmaster W. Copland, of the Salvation Army accompanying the singing.

The chairman was Mr. H. C. Harrison, who, in the course of his remarks, stated that he was very glad to see so many in the field (it was one of the largest attendances for years). For 32 years they had been told the same thing, and as a matter of fact they always would be; they came for one purpose, and they knew what that was. He was glad to see their M.P. with them.

He invited the speakers to say as much as possible in as short a time as possible. It was an opportunity for practical appreciation of hospital work. One of its chief beauties was that it was by voluntary subscriptions that hospitals were supported: by any other means the real value would be lost, and much of the charm of the work. He had never heard of a rich hospital. They were all trying to make ends meet. There was no need for facts and figures: he relied on one´s love of humanity and anxiety to do good, for right at the bottom of everybody there was just a bit of the “Good Samaritan”.

Mr. T. Williams, M.P., said it might be worth while to differ from the chairman regarding the voluntary system. Hospital demonstrations were of infinite value. They gave the people who had been doing work during the preceding twelve months an opportunity of letting the public know what was being done for the cause. In the hospitals there was that co-operative effort of surgeons which was not available for the individual home. Those who contributed their mites helped to minimise suffering and to repair broken men, women, and children.

It was a “helping hand”, even though at the time the significance of the contribution was not recognised by the contributor. Accidents were almost inevitable in the rush of twentieth century commercialism, and unless there was co-operation for hospitals there would not be the efficient surgical and medical help except for the persons who could afford to enter nursing homes. It was more pleasant to give than to receive; people did not contribute to friendly societies to receive sick pay, they contributed for fear they would need it, and so they should contribute to hospital. He hoped that these demonstrations would have the effect of stimulating enthusiasm, though he was not altogether in agreement with the voluntary system.

The spirit of administration in local hospitals was admirable. The work was done quietly, and he thought efficiently, and Hospital Sundays were useful even if they only gave the opportunity to pat themselves on the back and feel that they had earned it. He was glad to see so many, and hoped that if not contributing to existing schemes they would fill the sheets at the gates.

Mr. H. Hulley said it was about 20 years ago since the Fullerton Hospital was first talked about, and there was present at that meeting some of the instigators. From a small beginning it had been brought to be the finest hospital in South Yorkshire, and was a credit to the staff and workpeople who supported it. Mr. Williams believed in hospitals ruled by communities. The Fullerton Hospital was ruled by the workpeople. Credit was due to the medical staff, which was second to none in the district. One life saved was worth more that a year´s contributions. The hospital was to be extended. Col. Connell, of Sheffield, had been engaged as consultant, the X-Ray apparatus installed last year had cost £1000, which the men had provided out of their own pockets. It spoke volumes for what the men do for hospitals, and he hoped it would continue to be so.

The Vicar, the Rev. W. a. Strawbridge, outlined very strong claims for support for Doncaster Royal Infirmary, especially as the new building scheme is being progressed with. He told of the increased number of patients, the loss of the special national grant, and made a special appeal for this hospital. He deprecated sweepstakes for hospitals, and hoped we should never have them, as had lately been done on a grandscale, which appeared likely to find a place in the courts. The end did not justify the means, and the principle was wrong.

Capt. Getliffe, of the Church Army, spoke enthusiastically of the work.

By an oversight, no invitation was sent to Mr. A. Roberts, C.C., or to the Denaby branch of the Y.M.A. the new secretary of the Demonstration committee had not been informed that they were on the list, but the error is not likely to occur again, and regret is felt at the omission.

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