Our Manager and Trustees | Friends of Dorset County Hospital

Our Manager and Trustees 

The Manager

Wondering who's behind the Friends of Dorset County Hospital? See below about our manager.

Sharon Merritt - Manager

I moved to Weymouth 1999 and saw an advert for volunteers at the hospital, I came in had a chat and started 2 days later! I thoroughly enjoyed volunteering and in 2005 when an opportunity came up for a part time supervisor, I applied and as they say the rest is history. The job has changed immensely in the last 12 years. It is like running a small business being responsible for all aspects of a business and having to organise 100+ volunteers. I previously worked in many roles including secretarial, admin, training, promotions, duty manager at a supermarket and marketing for Pepsi. My varied background has certainly been very helpful in the various roles I am involved in today! The job is constantly challenging but so worthwhile and I am privileged to have such a fabulous team of trustees and volunteers.


Our Trustees

Wondering who makes up the brilliant team of Trustees at the Friends of Dorset County Hospital? See below for all trustee members and a little background about themselves.

Barbara Purnell - Chairperson

I moved from Essex to live in Weymouth 10 years ago to begin my “retirement”.  My husband and I have 4 children and 8 grandchildren between us.  I began volunteering with the Friends in March 2008 initially to work a weekly shift in the Hospital Shop.  I found my fellow volunteers welcoming and friendly and have made some very good friends.  I was invited to join the Trustees 7 years ago and have since become Chairman.  I find this role to be both interesting and rewarding and I’m pleased to be part of a worthwhile organisation.

Annette Kent - Vice Chair

I am a retired Local Government Officer, living in Weymouth, married with two grown up children and four grandchildren. I have been a volunteer with the Friends of Dorchester County Hospital  for the last six years and I have very much enjoyed what I do. The Friends provide a great service to patients and their families and I have found the work very rewarding. I am currently Vice-Chairman of the Friends Board of Trustees and also lead the Fundraising Team.

Sharon Jackson - Treasurer

I live in Weymouth and retired due to ill health. I started working at the Friends in 2010 as i wanted to give something back to the hospital after my excellent treatment there. Sharon, our manager, who is a friend suggested helping out in the office. Then I was asked to join the trustees and became their treasurer. It's great working here and knowing that all the money we raise goes to the hospital to help patients.

Sue Mason - Secretary

I live in Weymouth, and am married with two daughters and two granddaughters.  I spent my working life as a primary school teacher, mainly supporting children with special needs.  When I gave up work I wanted to continue doing something where I felt I was able to help people.  My Dad had been a patient in DCH and I remembered buying him a Mars bar from the trolley and thinking I'd really like to do that.  I now do a regular weekly trolley round and thoroughly enjoy it.  I love talking to patients and staff and feel I'm doing something useful and constructive with my time.  The other volunteers are a very friendly bunch too!  I am also secretary of the Trustees and find this role very interesting and rewarding

Patchy Hansford - Trustee

I am Patrick or, as known at the Friends, "Patchy".  I'm proud to be Dorset born and bred, love travel, meeting people, gardening, and am the friends “shed repair man" and am happily married to Trish.  I started volunteering at the Friends in September 2012 and was asked to become a Trustee the following year.  When a small fundraising team was formed I joined the team and have been involved in fundraising ever since and i'm setting up various events.  After being here 4 years I persuaded  Trish to join the team and she now helps in the office twice a week.  We both enjoy getting out and about together and meeting people so this is the ideal place to be

Daphne Conroy - Trustee

I moved to Dorchester in March 2005 after losing my husband after 43 year of happy marriage, to be near my daughter and 4 grandchildren, who live in Bridport.  I joined the Friends in August 2005 to work in the hospital Shop.  The work is interesting and I enjoy meeting lots of different people and have made a lot of nice friends.  My hobbies are gardening, knitting, not that I have a lot of spare time as I take care of my elderly mother of 94.  I became a Trustee 7 years ago and find it very worthwhile and rewarding.

Teresa Sear - Trustee

I joined in 1998 as a volunteer and worked in the Café and Tea Bar, where we made tea and coffee in china cups and saucers!   I started with Jenny and nearly 20 years later we are both still working together in the Shop.  It’s a lovely place to work and I have made lots of friends over the years.  I have seen many changes over the last 20 years!   I became a Trustee 11 years ago and we meet regularly about 6 times a year, it is not too onerous but very rewarding.

Libby Wood - Trustee

In 2010 I had lunch with a friend who was a volunteer with the Friends of DCH ~ I had just retired and was looking for something interesting to do ~ a week later I was doing my first trolley round!!  I’ve done various jobs within the organisation and now clean the drink machines three times a week.  In 2011 I became a trustee and have enjoyed seeing how the Friends operate and how much hard work goes into making things run smoothly for the benefit of the patients at the hospital and their families.  My involvement has spread to my own family and my granddaughter now comes in once a week to help in the shop.

Our Office Volunteers

Lesley, Jan and Trish

Our three office ladies who help us out. from banking to clerical work. these ladies are a great asset to our team.



Student Volunteer visits Westminster Abbey

Sharon Jackson: 29th Jul 2018 16:14:00


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Next Event: Bingo Night

Back By Popular Demand BINGO. Wednesday 12th December 2018, Doors open 6.30, Eyes Down 7.30. DORCHESTER CORN EXCHANGE. also a raffle . Tea/Coffee and snacks available.


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