MORE than seven decades of the NHS will be celebrated once again with the return of a tea party in hospital grounds.

Last year marked the 70th anniversary since the start of the NHS and Trusts across the country joined together to honour the milestone with a variety of fundraising activities.

In the North-East, The Big NHS Tea Party was held in the ground of Darlington Memorial Hospital in July 2018.

The event was one of number of dates in the diary for the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (CDDFT) across its sites in the region and it was attended by staff, patients, residents and others, including Darlington MP Jenny Chapman.

The garden party raised £1,000 for the Trust’s charity, which supports the Trust through donations and legacies to deliver a wide range of projects making a difference to patient care and experience.

A national campaign has gathered momentum for the NHS to hold similar events this year and Darlington Memorial Hospital's estates and facilities team will once again pull out all the stops to make another memorable tea party between 2pm and 4pm on Friday, July 5.

Not only will staff be making hundreds of cupcakes, cups of tea and other goodies to sell, they will be also be using the traditional outdoor games they made for last year’s event, including a coconut shy, beat the goalie game and mini-golf. There will also be a plant sale.

Charity manager, Pat Chambers, said: “The atmosphere last year was fantastic, so celebratory and a chance to reflect back on the enormous achievements over the last 71 years in bringing excellent care to our patients, embracing new technology, scientific research and ensuring we’re a great place to work for our 7,000 staff.

“We’re also currently raising money to extend the chemotherapy day unit at University Hospital of North Durham.

"The treatments now available plus early diagnosis have resulted in unprecedented demand on the unit.

"The new unit will be much more spacious, offering patients the privacy and dignity they need to help them through their treatment.”

Would-be charity volunteers or fundraisers can call 01325-743781 or email