Hospital campaigners busy behind the scenes
Things may seem to have gone a bit quiet with the A Better Hospital for Berwick campaign but, in fact, there's been a lot going on behind the scenes.
The team has been building capacity with its army of volunteers to help achieve the health services the town needs.
A campaign spokesman said: “Obviously, there’s a lot still to be decided so we need to keep up public pressure to ensure the new hospital is fit for the future, with a growing and ageing population and increasing visitor numbers.
“We have several volunteer groups which people joined according to their skills and interests. Our research team are wading through all the documentation that we’ve collected since the start of the campaign, to pick out points which strengthen our case, as well as looking for relevant new information. They’ve also been checking journey times, gathering population statistics and a host of other fact-checking activities.
“We’ve had a lot of correspondence back and forth with the county council, the health authority and the clinical commissioning group, seeking their support for our aims, trying to ensure that they engage in a dialogue with us and that they conduct a proper analysis of our needs. We’re told to expect more public engagement sessions in the future and we must be ready for them.”
The local liaison team has had a busy couple of weeks designing the group’s new logo and sourcing banners, t-shirts, information cards and other materials ready for its first campaign stall at last Saturday’s charity fair in the town hall.
“This sort of outreach is important because we know a lot of people aren’t on Facebook and haven’t been able to keep up with the online campaign,” explained the spokesman.
A team is working specifically on youth engagement which was identified as something that was needed at the public meeting at the start of October.
“At the meeting you would have struggled to find anyone under 40, with the average age much higher,” said the spokesman. “We believe it’s important for the future of the town to show younger people what can be achieved when they join together in a community campaign, so they can rise to meet other challenges which might arise during their lifetimes.
“All this costs money of course, so we have a fund-raising team working on various ways to keep our finances in the black. Look out for future fund-raising events and ways to donate.”
If you want to get involved, even in a small way, visit abetterhospitalforberwick.co.uk and fill in the volunteer form which asks what you would like to do to help and sign up to the email list.