Latest news from Norham WI
This month we had a fascinating talk from Sandra Gann on the history and role of Almoners within hospitals. And she also covered the history of St Bartholomew's (Bart's) Hospital in London.
Bart’s hospital was founded in 1123 and is the oldest hospital in the UK to still operate out of its original location. Coincidentally the Almoner role was introduced into hospitals throughout England in the same year.
At this time hospitals were all linked to monasteries and male Almoners were appointed as administrators dealing with bills and ensuring that free care was available to those needing it.
Despite Henry VIII severing the connection with the monasteries in the 16th Century, the Almoner role continued.
In 1896 the first Lady Almoners were appointed and the role became more focused on the practical and emotional needs of the patients.
In 1965 the title of Almoner was considered to be old-fashioned and was changed to Medical Social Worker. Today Social workers continue to work in hospitals providing practical and emotional support to patients and their families.
Our group meets at 2pm on the first Thursday of every month in Norham Village Hall and over the next few months we have a varied programme of speakers including talks from the charity Horses for Forces and the International Rescue Corps. Members are also looking forward to a trip to the New Lanark World Heritage Centre in July.
Norham WI was established 95 years ago and we are planning to mark this anniversary with a celebration in September.
The next meeting is at 2pm on Thursday, May 3 ,when our speaker will be Claire Short, who will be talking about Travels in Israel. New members are welcome.