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Updated 11th September
We recently received a £360 donation in memory of Harry Barclay, who sadly passed away on June 13th, which was collected at and after his funeral. Friends of Dr Grays are very grateful to everyone who contributed, and offer our sincere condolences to Harry's family and friends.
Sponsored Walk 2023 - 20th August
This year's outing was on the Speyside way from Craigellachie to Carron and back, covering around 11 miles in total.
Setting off just after 1, a small but enthusiastic band enjoyed pleasant weather for the whole afternoon, with good conditions underfoot despite the previous day's rain.
There was a short 'refuelling' stop at Carron, where numbers also increased by one for the return leg, and the finish was reached at around 5.45 - the terrace of the Highlander Inn for well deserved refreshments!
Very well done and a big thank you to all the walkers and their sponsors.
We will update with the total raised once it's all been collected.
Summer Colour around Dr Gray's
A bonny display of bedding plants is currently enhancing the entrances to Dr Gray's and the Sensory garden, helping to lift the spirits of visitors, staff and patients. We are very grateful to B&Q and Cove Bay Nurseries for their generous donations, and to Moray Golf Club for providing the barrels at the front. A big thank you also to our resident 'greenfingers' Jeff Gable, the driving force behind the project, and his assistants.
Mocktail Event for Staff
On the 18th of July the Friends of Dr Gray’s Hospital, with the support of the Moray healthpoint team, hosted a mocktail event in appreciation of Dr Gray’s staff and
Mocktails were served in the sensory garden at Dr Gray’s Hospital. The pagoda and surrounding area was colourfully decorated. The rain mostly held off but it did not dampen the relaxed atmosphere in the garden, in fact the slight rain heightened the wonderful scents from the lilac tree and other plants. The session was held 11am - 2pm which allowed the staff to enjoy the mocktails during their breaks and take recipes away to replicate and enjoy.
The choice of mocktails were Fruit Fantasy, Pink Princess, Jamaica Days and No-Jito. Mint from the sensory garden was used in the No-Jito.
The healthpoint staff and the Dr Gray’s volunteers created a celebratory atmosphere and were so pleased that the staff attending were very appreciative of the short break to bring a little bit of festival fun into their working day and copies of the mocktail recipes were available for staff to take away and replicate the alcohol free drinks at home.
Everyone connected with Friends of Dr Gray's is delighted that our own Liz Tait, Committee stalwart since we started back in 2018 and current Trustee, has been awarded a BEM in the first King's Birthday Honours for her work as a Red Cross Emergency Response volunteer over nearly 20 years - see the P&J article here. Many congratulations Liz, it's richly deserved!
The recent 'Dr Gray's got Talent" evening in Elgin Town Hall on the eve of the Coronation was a great success, and we are delighted and very grateful to have received the magnificent sum of £1008 from it. A symbolic cheque was handed over yesterday (1st June) to Vice-Chair Dr Ken Brown by Marie Burnett, the main organiser and driving force. Looking on are Committee volunteers Jeff Gable and Liz Copland, who sold raffle tickets and helped out on the night, and Trustee Liz Tait, Sara-Jane Laing and Dr Gavin Tunnard, who were all involved. A huge thank you to everyone who participated or contributed - it's greatly appreciated, and is a big step towards our target.
A massive thank you to the members of Lodge Trinity Elgin 148 for choosing us as one of 4 recipients of a £250 donation, along with Moray Reach Out, Outfit Moray and Earthtime for All, which was handed over on Saturday 13th May at the Lodge - its very much appreciated.
Luxury Throws Raffle
This was drawn at the FODG Committee meeting on 11th May, and the winning tickets are:
Green & White 157 - merino wool & cashmere throw
Blue 174 - merino wool throw
Green 403 - autographed Dr Gray's football team shirt
Pink 202 - crystal art picture
Guess the Doll's Birthday
This was also opened at the meeting, and the winning date is:
Congratulations to the lucky winners, who will be contacted to arrange collection. We are very grateful to our donors, especially Deborah Ross for her time and effort with the doll, and to everyone who took part. Overall, over £600 has been raised!
Carol Singing - December
A big thank you to the Dotty Crotchets and friends for singing carols for staff and visitors in the foyer over lunchtime on the 22nd and 23rd. As well as lifting everyone's spirits, over £130 was raised in donations for the Friends. Thanks to all who contributed!
Our small band of intrepid walkers have raised the magnificent total of
Well done again to them, and another huge thank you to everyone who sponsored them!
Sponsored Walk - September
At just past 1 on Sunday 25th, a small band (including Lola the dog) set off from Dr Gray's for a blustery fundraising walk to Lossiemouth and back, mainly via the cycle path.
Despite looking very threatening at times, with the odd 'spit-spot', the rain held off, and the sun finally came out on arrival back at Gray's.
Everyone was in good spirits throughout despite a few aches & pains towards the end and, including a welcome refreshment break half-way, the walk was completed in 3 hours 40 mins. We then adjourned to Scribbles for drinks and pizza, courtesy of Jeff & Shelagh.
A big thank you to the walkers and their sponsors, and to the backup team who laid on the refreshments and a 'comfort shuttle' at Lossie. We are also very grateful to Tesco for donating water and fruit to keep everyone topped up while on the move.
We will update with the total raised once all the sponsorship has been collected.
Fairy Lanterns Thank You - August
These magical fairy lanterns, created by Committee member Jeff Gable, have proved a big hit with patients in the Children's Ward over the past several months, and we were delighted to recently receive a thank you card from the ward. Well done Jeff!
Pictures Raffle Winners - July
The recent raffle for 4 lovely metallic pictures was drawn last week, and the winning tickets are:
Congratulation to the lucky winners, who will be contacted to arrange collection, and thanks to everyone who bought a ticket. Over £100 was raised!
Colourful Donations - July
We are very grateful to Cove Bay Nurseries and Lidl Elgin for their recent kind donations of surplus bedding plants, which are now enhancing the Sensory Garden and hanging baskets for everyone's enjoyment.
Generous Donation from The Works - March
Friends of Dr Gray's is very grateful to the Elgin branch for their recent generous donation, including childrens' educational, story and colouring books, some of which will be used by patients in the Paediatric ward. A big thank you to all involved!
New Committee - January
Following a long fallow period due to the pandemic, and the departure of several members, a 'refreshed' Committee was established at a special meeting at the end of November (details here), and held its first formal meeting on the 20th.
Friends of Dr Gray's Committee is very grateful to those who have stepped down for their support and input over the past 3 years, particularly Tim Wakefield, our first Chairman and the driving force behind our establishment. We also welcome our new members, and thank them for 'stepping up' and enabling our work to continue.
World Parkinson's Day Lighting - 12th April
A few photos from over the weekend. A big thank you to the Estates department at Dr Gray's, particularly Hammy!
Lossiemouth Garage Collection - 1st September
The Harbour Garage has had one of our collection 'buckets' on the counter for the past few months, which has raised just over
A big thank you to John Thomson, his staff and all their customers for their generosity.
Elgin Senior Schoolboy's Donation - 28th August
When 16 year old Elgin Academy pupil Fraser Sandison's plans for an educational trip to Costa Rica earlier this summer were scuppered by the Covid pandemic, he decided to donate some of the money he had raised towards it to Friends of Dr Gray's, and today handed over a cheque for
to Liz Tait and Dr Ken Brown of the Committee in front of the original building. We are very grateful to Fraser for his thoughtful and generous contribution.
Major Anonymous Donation - 13th March
Friends of Dr Gray's is delighted and extremely grateful to have received an anonymous donation of
which brings the total raised so far to over £42,000! This will absolutely guarantee that the clock refurbishment can proceed as planned, and the Committee will soon begin looking at other projects within the Hospital, as well as continuing to fundraise. Huge thanks once again to the mystery benefactor(s).
Healthy Working Lives Quiz Night - 8th November
Thirteen teams competed in this popular annual event in Bishopmill Hall, with the proceeds this year divided between Friends of Dr Gray's and the Sensory Garden. Well done to the winners, the Lossie Pirates, and the Lighthouse Family, who won the Best Decorated Table prize. A total of
was raised, which is a great result. Many thanks to all who took part or donated a raffle prize, and to Phillipa and her team for organising it.
Dr Gray's 200 Celebration and Thanksgiving Service - 6th October
Over 100 people attended this inclusive ecumenical service in the Supper Room of Elgin Town Hall, which was organised and lead by Hospital Chaplains Ian Pallett and Andy Willis. Fiona Kyle's beautiful harp music welcomed everyone and provided a background for the post-service refreshments, and there were excellent musical interludes from both the Moray String Quartet and the Dotty Crotchets, who also accompanied the hymns. Readings by Dr Ken Brown, Sheila Sellar, Julie Campbell, Elsie Watson and Yvonne Wright provided historical context and colour, Alasdair Pattinson gave a glimpse into the future, and Deacon Vincent McQuaid offered a prayer for the future of Gray's and all those connected with it, and lead the Lord's Prayer. Afterwards, refreshments were served by Liz Tait and the team from Friends of Dr Gray's, and the retiring Collection raised the excellent sum of
Friends of Dr Gray's is extremely grateful to everyone who gave their time freely to make the afternoon such a success, particularly Ian and Andy, and to all those who contributed to the collection.
Speyside Way Sponsored Walk Grantown to Fochabers - 31st Aug & 1st Sept
This was marred by atrocious weather on Saturday, and the plan to camp overnight at Marypark courtesy of Ballindalloch estate was abandoned for more suitable shelter. 16 set off, and a few less (plus Shelagh's dog Blitzy) finished at Fochabers just after 5.30 on Sunday after a day of much better weather, aching and footsore but in good spirits. Pictures to follow on Facebook.
Thanks to everyone for such a great effort, and many thanks also to the backup team who provided sustenance and encouragement at regular intervals on both days.
Update 15th November
The final total raised was
which is tremendous!
Video added 13th December - courtesy of Steve Barker
Rotary Cheque Presentation - 17th June
Rotary Elgin President (and retired Consultant Anaesthetist) Dr George Duthie, and
Mr Jim Royan, Entertainment Convener, handed over a cheque for
to Friends Chairman Tim Wakefield and committee member Dr Ken Brown at a small ceremony in Ward 6 dayroom (photo below). This represents the proceeds of their successful 'Spring Fling' dinner dance at the end of March plus a very generous anonymous donation, and will be used towards the renovation of the dayroom to the same standard as the Jack Miller room on Ward 5. We are delighted to receive such a major boost to our funds, and thank all those who contributed.
Race Night and El:gin Dr Gray's 200th Special Edition Launch - 15th June
Around 100 people attended a very enjoyable event in Bishopmill Hall to mark the launch of the commemorative cherry gin. Everyone entered enthusiastically into the spirit of the evening, the speciality pies and Grays 200 merchandise proved very popular, and the raffle and auction were also well supported. With some money still to come in, including an extremely generous anonymous donation, the final total raised is likely to be around
which is absolutely fantastic. Friends of Dr Gray's is extremely grateful to Leah Miller and her team at El:gin for their generosity in creating and donating the anniversary gin, and for all their hard work to make the evening such a success. Thanks also to all the businesses and individuals who generously donated prizes for the raffle and auction, and to those who helped out behind the scenes on the night.
Royal Visit - 3rd June
HRH The Princess Royal paid a return visit to Dr Gray's on the afternoon of the 3rd to mark its 200th anniversary, nearly 24 years after her previous visit in October 1995 to formally open phase 1. In bright sunshine, and with Gordonstoun Pupils Pipe Band playing, she was greeted by Jim Royan, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Moray and former Chairman of both Moray Health Services and Grampian Health Board, and introduced to the welcome party which included our Chair, Tim Wakefield. Tim escorted HRH to unveil a 200th commemorative mosaic in the foyer and meet the artist, Jo Adam, and donor, Kenny McKenna, along with Dr Vic Henderson who helped in its creation. She was then shown a selection of historic images from our website by Dr Ken Brown, and viewed the 200th exhibition taken from early admission books where she met senior school volunteer Beth Carmichael and NHSG Archivist Fiona Musk, who had put it together. Visits to Ward 5, including the Jack Miller dayroom, and ward 6 dayroom followed, and among the patients she met, by an amazing coincidence, was a lady who had played with her as a child at Balmoral, and whose husband had subsequently been one of her protection officers. HRH then met a wider group of staff and others connected with and supporting Dr Gray's in various ways in the restaurant, including the first baby of the 200th year (with mum!), with background music from harpist Fiona Kyle and a video montage of Gray's produced by Steve Barker, and was presented with a Johnstons of Elgin 200th cashmere scarf, a basket of flowers and a box of commemorative cakes. As she left by the original main entrance, the bell was rung for only the second time in around 50 years by Steve Barker, and tea and cakes were served in the restaurant for our guests.
The Friends committee is extremely grateful to all those who contributed to making the visit such a success. Many more images and a short video are on our Facebook page and Dr Gray's NHS Facebook page
Inaugural Moray & Banffshire Heroes Awards 2019 - 9th May
This was held in the Mansfield Hotel, and Friends of Dr Gray's was represented by Chair Tim Wakefield, his wife Sharon, and Liz Tait and Ken Brown from the committee. Our host was Nicky Marr, Scottish Provincial Press columnist and broadcaster, with entertainment from Edward Reid, a Britain's got Talent semi-finalist in 2011. Although we were unsuccessful, it was an enjoyable and very inspirational evening, so well done to all the finalists and winners, particularly our colleagues in A&E, who won the Healthcare award, and Buckie RNLI, who won both their own category and the overall 'Hero of Heroes' award. A big 'thank you' to everyone who voted for us.
Elgin Rotary Club 'Spring Fling' Dinner Dance - 30th March
90 members and guests enjoyed a very pleasant and successful evening at the Mansfield Hotel, including a raffle, auction and 'Curling for a Bottle', with music from the Dunphail Dance Band. A final total is still to be confirmed, but
has been raised for Friends of Dr Gray's patient - related projects and activities.
Johnstons of Elgin Quiz Night and Limited Collection Launch - 7th February
Over 100 people enjoyed the sellout event in the Mill Shop restaurant, which opened with drinks and nibbles while guests browsed the specially created Dr Gray's 200 collection, complete with a unique logo designed by Jana Williamson, and bought tickets for the evening's raffle, with prizes also generously donated by Johnstons.
Following welcomes from Jenny Urquhart of Johnstons and Chair of Friends of Dr Gray's Tim Wakefield, a description of the collection by Alastair McDonald of Johnstons and the launch of a silent auction for a unique cushion designed and hand made by Alison Claney of Johnstons, the very entertaining and wide ranging quiz, in named teams of four, got under way with quizmaster George McNeil of Johnstons.
Seven rounds with an interval for further refreshments later, a clear winner had emerged - well done 'Chris and the Geeks', who will receive individually mongrammed scarves from the collection. The raffle was drawn while the final scores were being tallied, and George thanked everyone whose efforts had made the evening such a success. A formal vote of thanks and gift presentation to Jenny and Johnstons by Liz Tait of Friends of Dr Gray's concluded events.
With advance tickets sales, brisk product sales including nearly all of the merino and cashmere blankets, the raffle proceeds and a very generous anonymous £1000 bid for the cushion,
nearly £5,000 had been raised by the end of the night
towards the restoration of Dr Gray's clock. Friends of Dr Gray's is extremely grateful to Jenny Urquhart and all her volunteers for organising and staffing the event, and to Johnstons of Elgin for donating the collection and laying on the launch event. Thanks also to the Friends of Dr Gray's volunteers who helped out.
The cashmere scarves will continue on sale at Johnstons until Sunday 10th, and thereafter via:
Tim Wakefield welcomes everyone, watched by Jenny Urquhart. Courtesy of Susan Gillespie
Courtesy of Susan Gillespie
Courtesy of Susan Gillespie
Tim Wakefield welcomes everyone, watched by Jenny Urquhart. Courtesy of Susan Gillespie
Click on image near top to view photos in Large Window
Dr Gray's Bell rings for first time in around 50 years - 6th January Video by Steve Barker.
The bell has been in the dome since the Hospital opened, and used to strike the hours via the original clock mechanism. Steve Barker did all the hard work, and some photos were also taken:
Click on image near top to view photos in Large Window
Entertainment in Dr Gray's - December Videos by Steve Barker.
This grand piano was in the main foyer in the run-up to Christmas, having been generously loaned by Moray Firth Pianos, and was used for several mini-recitals, concerts and carol singing as well as impromptu performances like this, all greatly enjoyed by passing staff, visitors and patients, which together raised several hundred pounds.
With grateful thanks to Moray Firth Pianos and the pianists.