THE Friends of Trafford General are trying to attempt to recruit new volunteers to help out.

As if to underline the ages of many of its band of volunteers the age range is from the young and sprightly to the more elderly but just as sprightly, who aim to give back to the community and to the hospital in particular.

It includes two members Norah Baxter, 93, and Joan Parkinson, 90, who are the eldest of the group but their energy knows no bounds. Both Norah and Joan work on the group's committee.

Anne Davies, the friends treasurer said: "The pair are an excellent example of the loyalty to the cause, and Joan over the course of her long and active life has raised two sons, who have in turn made her a grandmother of six and great grandmother of four.

"Despite going back into secretarial work once her sons were old enough, Joan has raised funds for the National Children's Homes and Cancer Research and is a founder member who worked in the Friends of Trafford General shop over many years. "During much of this time she has also worked as a JP."

Mrs Davies said the group urgently needed to recruit new volunteers willing to take on some of the more active roles.

She explains: "Our problem today is that many of our volunteers have been with us for many years and are themselves needing to leave us as either their health is failing or the need to look after partners who now need care.

"Finding replacements is becoming more difficult, as the younger retired are often finding themselves looking after grandchildren as their sons and daughters are out at work."

Mrs Davies admits the charity work is not glamorous as most of it involves working on a daily basis to provide visitors with a welcome and a warm cuppa.

She adds: "The monies we raise from these projects is then ploughed back into the hospital in the form of less costly items to improve the experience of both patients and staff.

"These include specialised TV/computer sets for the dementia ward, folding beds to enable relatives to stay with terminal patients, specialised trolleys to assist porters in their work. The list goes on and on."

Anyone who feels they could find four hours to spare to help out should contact Anne on 747 4243.