A charity cafe at St Mary’s Hospital in Newport is being forced to move from position in the main foyer – to make way for a commercial replacement.

The Friends of St Mary’s (FOSM) cafe is relocating its busiest cafe so the replacement, believed to be a Costa, can take its place.

The charity also has a cafe in the Laidlaw Diagnostic and Rehabilitation Unit, but the entrance foyer site is understood to be its busiest.

The FOSM have had a cafe at St. Mary’s for 32 years and raised more than £1 million in the last 18 years to help fund new equipment and facilities for the hospital, including therapy toys, cancer screenings and comfy chairs for new mothers.

A spokesperson from the Isle of Wight NHS Trust said:

“We want to improve the front entrance of our main site for patients, families and staff.

“The trust plans to introduce a new commercial cafe and we will be working with the FOSM to relocate its cafe to the north part of the hospital site as a part of a project to relocate the out-patients department and improve the FOSM shop facility in the main entrance foyer.

“The redevelopment will be better for our patients, their families and NHS staff as they will have greater choice and they’ll benefit from longer opening hours.”

Former FOSM chairman, Geoff Banks, said:

“It is going to be rather sad to see the cafe go because of the amount of pleasure it gives to the volunteers.

“They like helping the community, speaking to families. It is a great loss of social interaction.”

Lesley Myland, current chairman, said:

“We are pleased to continue the support for the trust and we look forward to serving our customers in a new and better shop in the foyer, and in the new outpatients department.”

The new cafe is likely to be installed in early 2020.

Report by Louise Hill #LDReporter #LDR