Weston Park Hospital: Hundreds back campaign to stop the closure of Sheffield hospital café
and live on Freeview channel 276
The Royal Voluntary Service charity is considering closing the café in Weston Park Hospital, near Broomhill, because of a fall in usage and rising overhead costs since the coronavirus pandemic.
Volunteers who work there are hoping to know a decision next week. But they have confirmed that nearly 1,000 names are now on a petition set up in support of keeping the café open.
One campaigner said: “The cafe is mainly run by volunteers who do more than sell drinks. They provide a friendly face and words of support to the patients who come from miles around to undergo cancer treatment and to the staff who treat them. Many of the volunteers have put in years of service.
“Without this resource the alternative could be a vending machine. Please sign our petition to encourage the charity and hospital trust to reach a satisfactory conclusion which would enable us to remain open.”
The online petition is currently at 637 signatures; the paper copy in the hospital at 328 signatures. The online petition can be signed by logging onto https://www.change.org/p/support-us-in-keeping-the-rvs-cafe-in-weston-park-hospital-open.
Supporters have also been leaving messages in support of the campaign to keep the cafe open.
One said: “This café is a much appreciated resource for patients undergoing a very stressful experience. The volunteers help to support them.”
Another added: “Weston Park Hospital serves a huge area - not just Sheffield. Relatives bringing patients for treatment need somewhere to get refreshments whilst waiting. Closing the café would be disastrous for relatives and patients alike. Surely an amenity like this should be run as a service regardless of profit. Please put patients and their relatives first.”
One said: “Loved my very much needed latte after treatment, all the ladies very pleasant. A very much needed asset to WPH.”
And another wrote online: “This café is essential to all in Western Park patients and visitors. Served me well over the many years my husband was in there. Please keep this open for the future customers.”
Earlier this month, Chris Gray, head of retail operations for Royal Voluntary Service told the Star that the RVS has been pleased to see trading return to many of its cafés and shops, which are predominately based in hospitals, following the pandemic.
He added: “There are however some sites where there is reduced footfall and customer spend, including our Weston Park Hospital café. We’re therefore in the process of reviewing those services and hope to explore our rental costs with Trusts and Health Boards. No decisions have been made yet and we are keeping our staff and volunteers updated.”
Weston Park Hospital is the regional specialist hospital for cancer patients across South Yorkshire, and many of its patients come from further afield than just Sheffield to their treatment.
It is run by the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, who were approached for comment but have not issued a statement.