Charity The Friends of East Surrey Hospital celebrate 25 years of supporting the Redhill hospital this year.

The Friends started in 1984 when the-then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher officially opened East Surrey Hospital.

Since 1984, the Friends have donated more than £1.5 million to it for equipment and services.

Last year, the group gave more than £100,000, which included a scanner for the Eye Clinic to diagnose eye conditions more quickly using 3D illustrations.

Reigate and Banstead mayor Richard Mantle joined Friends chairman Richard Burford, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust chairman Roy Davies, and Friends honorary secretary Mrs Lindsay Reyniers, to mark the milestone at the hospital's Post Graduate Education Centre.

Mr Burford said: “Like many people in our community, I’m passionate about East Surrey Hospital.

“Our 150 dedicated volunteers who run our coffee shops are providing a really good service, and I am deeply grateful for their enthusiasm and efforts.”

He said: “The hospital has had challenging years but it has come out better for it.

“There are so many good developments with new services almost every month and the staff are marvellous.”

Mr Davies said: “We celebrate the Friends’ volunteers and their ongoing commitment to the hospital.

“Their contributions are very worthwhile and benefit our patients, visitors, doctors and nurses. I look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

Elizabeth McGrigor is the longest serving volunteer, having been with the Friends at the hospital since 1984.

For details on becoming a Friends volunteer, call Mrs Jenny Culling on 01737 248032.