League of Friends presidents celebrated in new wallpaper mural

Image: The new Torbay Hospital League of Friends presidents wallpaper and inset image of members of the League and family members of presidents cutting a ribbon at the opening.

Published: 5 December 2023

The generosity of Torbay Hospital League of Friends’ presidents during the past 70 years has been immortalised on a new commemorative wall.

The wallpaper, located in two locations at Torbay Hospital, recognises the dedication and leadership that the presidents have provided throughout the League’s nearly 70-year history.

Current members of League of Friends, family members of presidents and members of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust’s Board joined together for an opening celebration and afternoon tea.

A plaque records the names of all the League’s presidents including Mr Earnest Hutchings, Mr J J Cox, Mr B Venn Dunn, Mrs M Ball and Mr W G Standley. The wallpaper provides more insight into the people behind the names, featuring the current League president Pat Roberts (who has been an active member of the League for more than 60 years) and the three presidents who came before her: Joan Williams, Fred Payne and David Hall.

Torbay Hospital marked its 95th anniversary in November and next year the League will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its formation.

Torbay Hospital League of Friends has become one of the leading leagues in the country, raising millions of pounds to benefit local people and receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2012.

Sir Richard Ibbotson, chair of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It is such an honour to be able to recognise the contributions of Torbay Hospital League of Friends’ leadership as well as all its members and everyone who has supported the League’s work since its inception.

“I would like to thank the League for funding the wallpapers, and the members of Joan, Fred and David’s families who were able to join us. A special thank you must go to Jontie Williams, Derek Payne and Kathryn Williams who took the time to share their photos and their stories of their parents with us, and Pat Roberts for sharing her stories. Together they made this wallpaper possible.”

Kathryn Westaway, chair of Torbay Hospital League of Friends, said: “This is a great opportunity to remember the hard work of presidents past and present. Many thanks to the families of past presidents for taking part in the presentation, and I wish president Pat Roberts all the best for many years to come.”

The League of Friends presidents wallpaper can be found on the corridor near Torbay Hospital’s boardroom, located to the left of the oncology entrance. A smaller version can be found in the entrance to the Heatherington unit.