Skegness shop in hospital cash aid

Hospital Watch

Hospital Watch

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ONGOING efforts to secure life saving diagnostic equipment for Skegness Hospital continued with the assistance of a local department store last week.

Beales on Lumley Road permitted Skegness Hospital Watch to collect money outside the store to help with the purchase of vital blood testing equipment.

Skegness Hospital Watch fund raising manager Geoff Poulter said: “We are very appreciative with Beales for allowing us to collect - this will help us quickly raise the money we need for the equipment.”

The kind offer came after Skegness Town Council refused permission for the organisation to carry out street donations, until it became an officially registered charity.

Hospital Watch member Martin Spittles said: “I think that any charity like Hospital Watch should be allowed to collect freely without hindrance or obstruction from the council, especially when they are allowing other buskers to collect for themselves.”

Mayor of Skegness Coun Steve Kirk has explained the difficulties the council faced in deciding whether to grant permission.

“They are performing a very valuable function and the money they raise does go to provide extra facilities for Skegness, so we support them 100 per cent but unfortunately we are stuck between a rock and a hard place on this issue.

“I think most councillors would have wanted to bend the rules on this one, but when it was explained that it would open the flood gates to any other unregistered collections, we felt we had to stick to it.”

Coun Kirk also explained that the unregistered street performers collecting outside the Hildreds shopping centre were not doing so with the permission of the council but that enforcing unlicensed collections was very difficult at this time of year.

He felt that the best way forward would be for the organisation to apply for registered status, which enable it to carry out street collections and apply for other sources of money.

Skegness Hospital Watch require £42,000 to buy the equipment and a further £20,000 to maintain it.

It has collected a total of £30,000 from its own reserves and donations made by the League of Friends, and a massive £10,000 donation from Lincolnshire Co-op as part of its 150th birthday. Mr Poulter said he was delighted to have received such a donation.