King’s Lynn hospital stalwarts celebrate 180 years

QEH 90-year-old volunteers Mary Higgins and Kate Crossman ANL-160817-144340001
QEH 90-year-old volunteers Mary Higgins and Kate Crossman ANL-160817-144340001

Age has not proved to be a barrier for two volunteers at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Lynn who have celebrated their 90th birthdays.

Mary Higgins and Kate Cross man marked their milestone birthdays with friends at the hospital at a surprise presentation on Monday.

Mrs Higgins has been a part of the hospital for 27 years and continues to volunteer with the St John Ambulance library once a week.

She puts the secret of keeping young down to playing 18 holes of golf each week.

Mrs Higgins, who lives in Pott Row, is married to Geoff and has two daughters, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She turned 90 on August 6 and celebrated with a party in Timbers, at Fincham.

She said: “I really enjoy volunteering and get a lot out of it. I like the fact that I am helping other people and I have no plans to stop.

“I never sit down and like to keep moving as I think that’s what keeps you going. Plus I play golf two to three times a week.”

Mrs Crossman, who lives in Hunstanton, began volunteering at the hospital three years ago and is a familiar face on the reception desk.

The former nurse, who had worked at Westminster Hospital, the former West Norfolk and King’s Lynn General Hospital and the Addenbrooke’s Unit, in Hunstanton, before it closed in 1980, turned 90 on Sunday, and celebrated with family party.

She was married to the late James and has two sons and two granddaughters.

Mrs Crossman said: “I would recommend volunteering as it keeps you out and talking with people. It is also terribly important. I get a lot of job satisfaction.

“I think keeping moving is the secret.”

Mrs Crossman and Mrs Higgins were presented with flowers by hospital chief executive Dorothy Hosein.

Mrs Hosein, along with voluntary services manager Paul Holley-Smith, have thanked Mrs Crossman and Mrs Higgins for their continued support to the hospital.

Mrs Hosein said: “It was wonderful to be able to celebrate Mrs Crossman and Mrs Higgins’ birthdays and thank them for their continued support. There are not many hospitals that can boast two nonagenarians.”

She added: “We are very lucky to have an army of dedicated volunteers who contribute so much to the life of the hospital.

“We are on a journey towards excellence in all areas of patient care and we could not do that without support from our volunteers.”