Nurses past and present come together for annual reunion

Photo montage: Left - Jane Watson, President, Torbay Hospital Nurses League and Reverend Angela Sumner, hospital chaplain. Right - Nurses League reunion celebrations

Published: 16 May 2023

Over 70 current and former nurses came together this week for the annual reunion of Torbay Hospital Nurses League.

Now celebrating its 78th year, Torbay Hospital Nurses League is three years older than the NHS and has 200 members worldwide, all of whom either trained at Torbay Hospital or worked there for more than two years.

The reunion began with a short but moving service at St Matthias Church, Wellswood, led by hospital chaplain Reverend Angela Sumner on the theme of love.

The Nurses League is involved in many projects within the hospital to improve care and experiences for staff and patients including upgrades to day rooms on George Earle, Simpson and McCallum wards – all of which offer care for older people and those living with dementia. The League also provide handmade syringe driver bags for palliative care patients, memory boxes for patients families and welcome packs for newly arrived overseas nurses.

Members of the league hold craft fairs and coffee mornings throughout the year to raise funds to support their work and maintain their living legacy of camaraderie, care and compassion.

Jane Watson, President, said: “We the Torbay Hospital Nurses league are very proud of our hospital and we are passionate about supporting our hospital and the next generation of nurses.

“We are apparently the only nurses league still in existence and still active this side of London. Rare breeds! Our league ethos is: nurses supporting nurses.”

Reverend Angela Sumner, hospital chaplain and chaplain to the nurses league, said: “A wonderful party day celebrating dedicated service and much friendship!”

Liz Davenport, Chief Executive, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are hugely proud of our Nurses League and the contributions they make to helping us deliver our vision of better health and care for all. Their kindness, encouragement and commitment is an inspiration to us all and is deeply appreciated by colleagues across our many sites and services.”

If you trained as a nurse or worked as a nurse at Torbay Hospital and are interested in joining the nurses league, please contact Elaine Biden, League secretary, via