The Great British Bake Off star Mary Berry joins a growing list of celebrities showing support for the Wycombe Hospital Campaign by posing with the Save Wycombe Hospital mosaic poster at the Bank Holiday Monday Fete in Hazlemere on 31st August 2015.
The Hand Back Our Hospital campaign aims to return lost services to Wycombe including A&E and full maternity, as well as stop further downgrades of services.
A whole array of celebrities have shown their support for the campaign, with Gabby Logan, Phil Vickery and Steve Hewlett having posed with the poster in the past.
The latest petition now has over 6,500 online signatures and a dozen celebrities have retweeted it, the most recent being actor John Challis who played Boycie in Only Fools and Horses, celebrity chef Aldo Zilli and guitarist Steve Hackett.
Campaign co-ordinator Miss Ozma Hafiz said, ‘Support for the cause continues to grow and with more people volunteering to help, we’re getting stronger.
Further details about celebrity interaction are on the blog site www.savewycombehospital.wordpress.com and our latest petition (https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/fair-funding-for-buckinghamshire) can also be found there.
I’m keen to get the petition in quite soon after parliament recommences and therefore would appreciate everyone signing and sharing it widely. The new target is 10,000, which I believe is achievable with everyone’s help.
Thank you to everyone who has shown support and particularly those helping at the moment with paper signatures. These can also be found in some local shops.‘
Princes Risborough resident Liz Wisbach has been helping with paper signature collection. She said, ‘I was surprised at the number of people who didn’t know A&E was closed. I enjoyed chatting to people, all of whom were interested and had a tale to tell!‘.
The petition has been signed by a wide range of people, including those from Stoke Mandeville and Wexham Park.
Ozma said, ‘More people have had first-hand experience of the difficulties that have arisen due to increased distance to health services. This was also reflected in a recent Healthwatch report. In regards to this, Healthwatch state that ‘people in Bucks are finding it more difficult than ever before to access hospital services. For many residents in Bucks the stress, anxiety and cost associated with getting to their appointments has become a major issue’ on their website.‘
‘Having to travel long distances doesn’t just affect patients, it can have an impact on their loved ones too,‘ she said. The full Healthwatch report can be accessed here: http://www.healthwatchbucks.co.uk/healthwatch-bucks-report-identifies-major-problems-transport-hospitals
Another part of the campaign, a sports collage, has also been launched. Local sports teams are being asked to pose for group photos with the campaign poster at the centre and their hand up for a ‘hand back‘. The aim of this phase of #HandsUpForAHandBack is to create a photo collage of the local sporting community in support of Wycombe Hospital.
Ozma said, ‘This is a great way to celebrate local sport as well as continue to raise the profile of our cause. It’s fantastic to have started our sports collage with a local karate club‘.
When thanked for submitting the first photograph, club member Susan Bosher said, ‘You’re very welcome. I had both my boys at High Wycombe so feel a bond with the hospital and the staff there, and would love to see the maternity ward and A&E re-instated.’
More details on how to take part in the sports collage can on be found on the blog site or here: https://savewycombehospital.wordpress.com/2015/06/28/handsupforahandback-sports-team-collage/
The well-supported Twitter account SaveWycombeHospital @HandBackOurHosp now has 1377 followers, including: Aldo Zilli, Fern Britton, Gordon Ramsey, Grant Shapps, Kerry Katona, Natalie Bennett, Steve Hewlett and Tim Payne.
The campaign can also be joined via the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/savewycombehospital/ and for those who wish to get more involved with sharing and scrutinising evidence, an additional Facebook group: ‘Save Our A&Es and Maternity Evidence Alliance’ was created on the 67th Birthday of the NHS: https://www.facebook.com/groups/837954686301389/
People are kept up to date with the campaign after signing the petition: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/fair-funding-for-buckinghamshire
and can get in touch by emailing: [email protected]