100 years of Rutland Memorial Hospital: Do you have stories to share?

By Jean Denyer

12th Feb 2024 | Local News

Rutland Memorial Hospital is turning 100, and your stories are a part of its long history. Image credit: Martin Brookes.
Rutland Memorial Hospital is turning 100, and your stories are a part of its long history. Image credit: Martin Brookes.

Rutland Memorial Hospital is nearly a 100 years old, and a local volunteer is looking for stories about the hospital, its staff, patients and more as planning to mark the milestone gets underway.

Jean Denyer, an Oakham local and avid volunteer, has been working as a volunteer at Rutland Memorial Hospital since 2019, supporting end of life patients and their families on the ward - and is passionate to champion the ongoing success of the NHS.

While Covid saw the volunteers removed from the ward until early 2022, Jean and a large group of crafters made over 1,500 scrubs for nurses and medical staff during the pandemic.

When the need for scrubs came to an end, a small group continued making Christmas and Easter sacks for those in local care homes, V-shaped cushions for breast cancer patients and seatbelt cushions for patients at Glenfield hospital who have had heart surgery.

Now, the group are supporting local nurses who care for terminally ill children, making baby clothes and other essentials for the nursing team and parents.

In June, Jean's work was recognised with a Valued Star Individual Award:

Jean Denyer is one of our Valued Star Individual Award winners in June! ⭐️Jean is a volunteer at LPT and was nominated by Dona Perkins.Read what Dona said about Jean in the nomination below! ⬇️Nominations can be made on the LPT website:https://t.co/G6chn194Bk pic.twitter.com/3kNJk4t6MU
— Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (@LPTnhs) September 13, 2023

However, all of this hard work isn't enough for Jean - who is taking on a new challenge to compile the history of Rutland Memorial Hospital as the facility reaches 100 years.

Jean said: "I began working as a volunteer for end of life in 2019, but covid took volunteers from the ward. However, I kept in touch with the ward until return in early 2022. I have been volunteering there since, and was recently recognised with an award from the Leicestershire Partnership Trust."

Jean was given the Skills for Justice National Volunteer Certificate, a rare award from HNS Health Education England marking Jean's long-term dedication to the cause.

Jean explained: "After receiving the award, I was asked by the team if I would become part of the group putting information together to mark 100 years of Rutland hospital."

As such, the Oakham-local is looking for people who have a connection to the hospital.

Jean added: "This project is looking for a range of stories, big or small, coming out of the hospital. I am aware that the hospital used to have a maternity ward, so I would love to hear from anyone who was born there, has worked at the hospital, or has had a relative at the hospital as a patient or part of the staff."

It doesn't matter how distant your connection, Jean wants to know. 

Jean concluded: "For me, Rutland hospital is a hospital that people have a lot of respect and time for, and when they tried to close it some years ago, there was outcry. It is important that stories of the past are saved and that we have a tangible history and can ensure that local stories are remembered - be it maternity, outpatient, morgue or staffing stories. I would love to be able to share the stories of local NHS staff and residents; and if people would prefer not to be named, that is fine too.

"Additionally, if there are people who are still alive who worked there, it would be wonderful to know, as we would love to be able to invite former staff to future events."

All of the information compiled by the group of NHS volunteers working on this project will be used to tell the story of the historic hospital.

Furthermore, the team are planning an event to mark 100 years of Rutland Memorial Hospital and, while there are no concrete plans yet, the history of the hospital is set to be at the heart of that.

 If you have stories or images to share, you can get in contact with Mrs Denyer by emailing [email protected].


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