Friends of Harrogate Hospital welcomes first female Chair in its 50th year

Colette Lain.

Colette Lain.

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The new head of Friends of Harrogate District Hospital has expressed pride in becoming the first woman to step into the role.

Colette Lain, will become the first female chair in the same year that FHDH marks its 50th anniversary.

Not only that, but Colette, who will officially take over on Friday July 1, will be heading up one of the group’s biggest annual fundraisers only two days later.

The Big Picnic which sees hundreds of cheaply donated toiletries and products from Procter & Gamble flogged at a reduced rate, will take place in Valley Gardens on Sunday July 3 from 12 - 4pm.

Colette said: “It’s fantastic to be Chair of an organisation that has been going for over 50 years and has raised almost £2 million since it was started and I’m proud to be the first woman to do it.”

Colette, who moved to Harrogate five years ago, grew up in Dublin and has been volunteering nearly all her life since her first role helping the elderly.

She said: ““I have been doing volunteer work since I was seven-years-old and I’m 63 now so it’s a new challenge and I’m really excited.”

Last year Colette received the Douglas Michael Macmillan award for her voluntary services.

This will now be her third year organising the Big Picnic and Colette is hopeful for good weather and a good turnout to reach their fundraising target of around £10,000.

The event which has grown popular each successive year will again feature stalls with everything from clothing and jewellery to arts and crafts, as well as a bouncy castle and fairground rides.

FHDH also expressed their thanks to ‘Retro Kids are Cool Kids’ a toy-shop which has donated a children’s pedal-car for the grand raffle.