Letters

Withybush General Hospital has an exceptional League of Friends which has raised incredibly large sums for the hospital.

One person has done more than anyone I have known in the many years I have worked in the health service. Can any other League of Friends in the UK match or beat this achievement?

He is Tom Lamb, who is 87. His association with the health service began in 1935. As a volunteer he travelled round Pembrokeshire collecting subscriptions to the voluntary contribution scheme, which paid for healthcare in the days before the NHS; 65 years later he is still an active volunteer.

Tom joined the League of Friends when it was established in 1951. He became a committee member in 1953 and has been treasurer ever since, while serving as secretary since 1981. He has also been chair and vicechair, and has chaired the Dyfed League of Friends.

Over the years, the Withybush League has donated well over£750,000 for hospital equipment.

In 1999-2000 alone, the sum of£163,000 was raised. Tom is a key member, and his drive and energy - despite his years - have been a major factor in the league's success.

His dedication is remarkable, particularly because he suffers a disability from a leg amputation when he was only 23.

In recent years his efforts for others have been undiminished despite having to care for his wife, who has been very ill for some considerable time.

Tom is a tireless hospital visitor, spending a great deal of time talking to patients and quietly giving help where needed.

In recognition of his dedication, when a new cancer ward was opened at Withybush in 1997, one of the three units was named 'the Tom Lamb unit'- an accolade supported throughout the hospital and by a wider community.

Tom's contribution to the health service in Pembrokeshire is unsurpassed and spans a remarkable eight decades.

I have never known anyone who comes near him in terms of service in a voluntary capacity.

Stuart Fletcher Chief executive Pembrokeshire and Derwen trust