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Your Champions: John and Jean Saunders nominated for Team of the Year award

A COUPLE who have dedicated 46 years to fundraising for a community hospital have been nominated for the Your Champions Team of the Year award.

John and Jean Saunders founded the Good Companions of Holywell Hospitals in 1964, when Jean worked as a ward sister in the former Lluesty Hospital.

She said: “When I worked at the hospital there weren’t any screens to put around the beds apart from portable ones.

“I used to get angry about it because of the lack of dignity for the patients and every night I’d come home fed up about it.

“One day John said to me that we should just do something about it.”

The couple held coffee mornings, bingo sessions and other events and after 18 months had raised enough money to provide screens for all 157 beds in the hospital.

Jean said: “Once we’d done it we were so pleased and we could think of more things which we needed to raise money for.”

In 2008 the new Holywell Community Hospital was opened and since then the Good Companions has donated state-of-the-art medical equipment, furniture and provided a garden for the patients.

“We have a tea bar in the new hospital,” said Jean.

“We have 124 volunteers who help out there and it raises quite a lot of money.”

So far this year Jean estimated the Good Companions has raised about £20,000.

She added: “We’ve had some great people working with us over the years.

“We have brilliant support from the community as well and are always getting donations from people.”