A sustainable Tea Bar in the Heart of Horsham Hospital
21 July 2022
By RJ Heron
Sustainable principles are fundamental to the League of Friends at Horsham Hospital. We paid them a visit to find out more about how they’ve adapted their tea bar, to make it more environmentally friendly and reduce single use plastic use and waste.
Plastic free July
To mark Plastic Free July, we visited the tea bar in Horsham Hospital to showcase the great service they provide, to our patients, staff and the planet.
The Horsham League of Friends are a registered charity that have been supporting the hospital since 1959. As well as running the tea bar, they also manage the hospital shop and maintain the courtyard and have done since 1981.
The tea bar serves refreshments to some 120 – 150 patients and staff each day. The best part is that about 80 – 85% of all drinks are sold in reusable containers such as mugs, coffee keep cups, etc. The system works so well as the League of Friends are happy for visitors to take their much along with them to other areas of the hospital like waiting rooms. Staff also often take mugs with them and return them when they need a refill or at the end of their day.
We met with Albert Marrable, a trustee of the League of Friends who said:
“We are always aware of the environment and are always looking for new products that are environmentally friendly. We always take care to put anything that can’t be reused in the correct recycling bin.”
They’ve really thought of everything, even down to the coffee grounds. As there is no food waste bin onsite, the League of Friends take it upon themselves to use the grounds at home on their gardens and in their compost.
The League of Friends have been selling reusable coffee cups made from bamboo at the tea bar for some 5 years, making it even easier for those regular customers who need to take their drink off site. If someone does forget their cup and cannot use a mug, the takeaway cups provided by the tea bar are 100% recyclable and can be disposed of in any of the clearly marked recycling bins across the hospital site.
The great work of the Horsham League of Friends
All the profits made from the tea bar and shop are reinvested into the hospital. Through running these services, the League of Friends have been able to provide funding to support a new outpatients department, hospital chapel, and X-Ray equipment. Thousands of smaller items like medical equipment are also purchased by the League of Friends, and they have recently purchased three dermatoscopes for use within the hospital.
They also fund the road cleaning outside the hospital in the autumn and winter months to ensure the site and surrounding areas stay clear of leaves, etc. Horsham Hospitals’ welcoming foyer, with fresh flowers on display is also down to the League of Friends.
They revealed when the League celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009 that they had spent a total amount of £2,140,000 to support the hospital. Staff and patients therefore can rest assured that anything bought from the League of Friends is money well spent.
A huge thanks to Albert Marrable for your time in talking to use and taking the time to show us around the tea bar.