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Harefield Hospital given £33,000 for heritage project in centenary year

Part of the project will pay tribute to Commonwealth soldiers injured in the First World War, who the hospital was originally opened to treat.            

First World War serviceman William Clarence Morgan being treated at Harefield Hospital in 1918, after being shot in the stomach in France

Harefield Hospital has been given a £33,000 grant to fund a project marking its 100-year history.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded the money to the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity for a social history project that will culminate in an exhibition this autumn.

The grant will also fund a range of arts projects throughout the year, including the conservation of an Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) quilt made by patients and staff in 1915 – the year the hospital was opened to treat First World War soldiers from the two Commonwealth countries.

The quilt will eventually go on permanent display at the hospital, alongside a new textile piece, which will be created by an artist working alongside current staff and patients.

Gill Raikes, chief executive of the hospitals charity, said: “We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund in helping us celebrate such a momentous time in Harefield Hospital’s history. There is so much affection towards our hospital which will be captured and celebrated through activities funded through this project, so we are very grateful.”

Harefield Hospital, in Hill End Road, Harefield

Bob Bell, chief executive of Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital in Hill End Road, added: “The centenary is a valuable opportunity to celebrate the ground-breaking clinical and scientific achievements that have taken place at Harefield Hospital since 1915.

"We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has chosen to support the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity. The grant will help to capture some of Harefield’s rich history for posterity in a project which we hope will involve as many patients, staff and local people as possible.”

Organisers are seeking 20 volunteers to help conduct interviews for an oral history project. The charity also wants to hear from former patients, staff members and supporters willing to share their memories of the hospital, which now specialises in heart and lung operations and is one of the world's largest transplant centres.

Their video and audio clips, as well as photographs, will form part of the exhibition.

Sue Bowers, head of HLF London, said: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players we’re pleased to help celebrate the centenary of Harefield Hospital. This project will tell the stories of the staff and patients who’ve passed through its doors and record the hospital’s rich heritage - from its origins as a war hospital to its modern day role as a heart and lung specialist – for the very first time.”

For more information or to get involved, go online.

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