The League Today
Objectives of The Hospital for Sick Children Nurses' League
The League serves as a vehicle for members to meet annually. Members are able to maintain a link with Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust [GOSH].
The League Link Membership scheme ensures contact with members is maintained, facilitates local gatherings, and provides the opportunity to offer help and support from the Benevolent Fund. Bursaries are available for members who apply for support for further education.
The League meets annually on the last Saturday in September for its Reunion and Annual General Meeting [AGM]. This includes a chapel service, lectures of clinical interest and lunch followed by the AGM. It gives members the opportunity to renew acquaintances and learn of developments related to child health, nurse education and organisational management at GOSH. Final year nursing students at South Bank University are encouraged to attend the Annual Reunion & AGM by offering a subsidised fee for the day.
The League publishes an annual Journal which is posted to members on payment of a subscription by 31 January. The Journal contains information regarding GOSH, League events and articles about League members.
The League awards an annual prize in memory of past Matron Gwen Kirby to a sister or charge nurse who is an inspirational model, demonstrating "Our Always Values' at GOSH, in their leadership and with colleagues, patients and families.
Both the Benevolent and General committees meet three times a year and act on behalf of all members.
Officers of the League
- Imelda Charles-Edwards
- Vice Presidents
- Jan Saxton
Susan Macqueen OBE
- Honorary Treasurer
- Vivienne Davis
- Joint Honorary Secretary
- Sue Biggs and Pat Bishop
- Membership Secretary
- Christine Stone
On October 31st, 1936 Miss Dorothy Lane addressed the nurses
gathered to receive prizes and certificates. She suggested that a
Nurses League should be formed, which was endorsed by those present.
The inaugural meeting of the League took place on February 15th 1937. Miss Tisdale was appointed as President and Miss Lane became chairman of the committee. It was decided that the League should:
- Form a social and professional bond of union between past and present members of staff
- Maintain hospital ideals of work and conduct
- Endeavour to promote professional interests
These ideals largely remain true today.
Membership was available on payment of two shillings and six pence annually or two guineas for life membership (this would include receiving the journal).
The date for the AGM would be at the end of October each year and the executive committee would meet every three months. A league badge was available priced six shillings and sixpence.
By April 1937 the League had 91 members.
The first general meeting was held on October 2nd, 1937. The afternoon began with a service in the chapel followed by tea and the general meeting and nurses prize giving. At this early stage of the Leagues existence there was always a guest speaker.
In 1938 the League, ever mindful of its philanthropic ideal, decided to endow a cot as part of the reconstruction programme of the Hospital, which was called the 'Nurses League Cot'. Nearly ten years later this fund was closed and the balance remaining was used to start the Bursary Fund, as we know it today.
In 1939 the planned General meeting had to be cancelled owing to the outbreak of war and all business was suspended. Some staff joined up and the children were moved from central London. The Hospital was used as a casualty clearing station. The publication of the League Journal was temporarily halted because of shortage of paper.
After the war the League went from strength to strength and both the Benevolent and Bursary Funds were established. The AGM was moved to September and the nurses prize giving was held on a separate day.
Officers of the League – 1936 to the present
- The Honourable Margaret Bigge
(1946 – 49)
- HRH Princess Mary
(1949 – 65)
- The Honourable Margaret Bigge
(1965 – 77)
- Her Grace The Duchess of Grafton GCVO
(1978 – 2016)
- Miss Dorothy A Lane (1936 – 43)
- Miss Tisdale RRC (1943 – 44)
- Miss Dorothy A Lane (1944 – 52)
- Miss Gwen M Kirby (1951 – 69)
- Miss Mary Thompson (1970 – 89)
- Miss Betty Beech MBE (1989 – 93)
- Miss Jan Saxton (1994 – 2004)
- Mrs Susan Macqueen OBE (2004 – 2016)
- Imelda Charles-Edwards (2004 – )
- Miss Richings (1936 – 42)
- Miss Mary Thompson (1942 – 43)
- Miss B Manley (1946 – 50)
- Miss VF Parcell (1951 – 59)
- Miss Betts (1959 – 60)
- Miss Mary Thompson (1960 – 63)
- Miss Penny Pendred (1963 – 67)
- Miss Jan Saxton (1968 – 70 )
- Mrs P Stafford (1970 – 71)
- Miss GM Long (1971 – 74)
- Miss Betty Beech (1974 – 79)
- Mrs J Gumaste (1979 – 83)
- Miss Sally Nethercott (1983 – 84)
- Miss Penny Pendred (1984 – 94)
- Miss Mary Wallis (1994 – 98)
- Miss Adelaide Tunstill (1998 – 2003)
- Mrs Jenny Fairfax (2004 – 2013 )
- Ms Sue Biggs and Mrs Pat Bishop (2014 – )
- Miss Rider (1936 – 42)
- Miss Ridge (1942 – 44)
- Miss Patrick (1944 – 50)
- Miss JL Norman (1951 – 53)
- Miss K E Bodger (1953 – 59)
- Miss Barnes-Marsh (1959 – 60)
- Miss Y Thomson (1960 – 67)
- Miss Kate Hickford (1967 – 70)
- Miss M Jones (1970 – 73)
- Miss B Roberson (1973 – 76)
- Mrs J Murray (1976 – 80)
- Mrs Lyz Warren(1980 – 86)
- Miss Anne Hunt (1986 – 95)
- Miss Sonia Harle (1995 – 2015)
- Mrs Vivienne Davis (2015 – )
- Mrs Christine Stone
(2015 – )
- Miss Lansdell (1936 – 46)
- Miss Cowell (1946 – 46)
- Miss Edward (1946 – 47)
- Miss Smith (1947 – 49)
- Miss F Dillestone (1949 – 53)
- Miss Olive Sharpe (1954 – 67)
- Miss Burgess (1967 – 69)
- Miss EM Baldwin (1970 – 80)
- Mrs Maggie Tamplin (1980 – 82)
- Mrs P Higgs (1982 – 89)
- Miss Adelaide Tunstill (1989 – 98) and Miss V Colliss (1997 – 98)
- Miss M Thornton and Miss CJ Leatt (1999 – 2001)
- Miss Jan Saxton and Miss Adelaide Tunstill (2002 – 03)
- Miss B Cowell and Miss Christine Simpson (2003 – 08)
- Mrs Lyz Warren and Mrs Maggie Tamplin (2009 – 14)
- Mrs Susan Macqueen and Miss Adelaide Tunstill (2014 – 2015)
- Sue Lowe (2015 – )
The Hospital for Sick Children Nurses' League Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father we thank you for our Nurses' League as we celebrate the healing and vocation that has brought us together.
We look back and remember the time we spend here – sometimes difficult, sometimes happy – always joining us together in this very special bond.
We rejoice in our participation in the story of this great hospital and marvel at the changes, which have taken place in its growth and development as it continues to be faithful to its commitment to 'the child first and always'.
We pray for all the children past and present and those to come and ask that you keep them all – parents and families – in your loving care.
Continue to watch over all of us in your power and love.