Don't miss a story sign up to Sidmouth Herald's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Comforts fund chairman thanked for 25 years’ service

18:45 16 June 2014

Graham Vincent, chairman of the Sidmouth Hospital Comforts Fund, who recently received an award for long service to the charity. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 4751-24-14AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders

Graham Vincent, chairman of the Sidmouth Hospital Comforts Fund, who recently received an award for long service to the charity. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 4751-24-14AW. To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on Photo Orders


After a quarter of a century in the position, the Sidmothian chairman of the Sidmouth Hospital Comforts Fund still feels indebted to the community hub where he and his three sons were born.

Town councillors, staff and trustees gathered last Thursday to pay tribute to Graham Vincent, whose tenure coincided with a £4million revamp of Sidmouth Victoria Hospital.

He was originally invited to the committee for a local perspective, and has since overseen a massive fundraising effort – with most of the funding coming from patients and supporters from across the Sid Valley.

“I am so grateful to all the trustees, the hospital staff who have been so professional and all the neighbours for their patience,” said Graham.

“We are so excited now that the project is nearly finished. We have had many battles and had to compromise, but if we didn’t we wouldn’t have had the results we did. People are a lot busier these days and it’s always difficult to get officers but I think we are very fortunate in Sidmouth – the people here are rather special and unique.”

He added: “My three boys were born here and I was born here – I feel I have given something back to the hospital. I’ll stay on [as chairman] if they’ll have me!”

Graham has always taken an active role in the community, from his days playing football for Sidmouth and working as a decorator and sign writer, through to being a former president of the Sidmouth Lions and a trustee of the Sidmouth Consolidated Charities.

“It’s been difficult, but he’s loved every minute of it,” said his wife Jenny. “He is so happy to do what he does.

“He’s got a wonderful committee who have been behind him all the way.”

Comforts fund president Sheelagh Michelmore, whose husband worked at the hospital, said: “We are all so grateful for what he has done.

“I’ve been a member of the committee for many years and it’s been wonderful to see the hospital grow – it is a tremendous attraction for GPs to come and work in Sidmouth.

“It’s marvellous that Graham has been able to see through the whole project.”

Committee member Frances Newth added: “We are so fortunate we have been able to maintain our hospital – what would we do if it wasn’t here? It would probably be more housing.”

And town council chairman John Hollick commended the ‘forward thinking’ of the committee for beginning the renovation works, saying: “I am sure that every chairman for the last 25 years has been behind this project.

“It’s wonderful to have someone who has given so much to the community.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sidmouth Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sidmouth Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sidmouth Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other News Stories

Eastleigh shed, 8 May 1959 (c) C Boocock

Enthusiasts have a unique opportunity to invest in part of Sidmouth’s rail heritage as a £300,000 locomotive restoration project has been put back on track.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:30
New Kennaway House manager, Nikki Dawkins, with Michael James, David Leach, Bryan Dawkins and Michael Gordon-Lee. Ref shs 4446-47-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

A new manager and chairman have taken the helm at a charity-run arts centre with a growing reputation in and beyond the Sid Valley.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:59
Betty Williams with Lamb and Flag landlord, Ron Miles, and Ottery mayor, Glyn Dobson. Ref sho 4475-52-14AW. Picture: Alex Walton

A widow, whose generous gesture to people facing Christmas alone last year touched hearts around the world, has spoken of her delight that preparations are under way for another festive feast.

Read more
Fri, 19:37
An ariel view of the PegasusLife plans for Knowle.

A developer lined up to buy the East Devon District Council (EDDC) offices at Knowle has unveiled its vision for a retirement community on the site.

Read more
Fri, 16:59
The Sidmouth Friends of the Samaritans held their AGM this week. Pictured are chairman Sue Kensdale with from left Ron Harbour (treasurer), vice chairman Gerald Hayne and Denis Jones (sec). Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shs 3446-08-14SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to

The loss of Sidmouth’s Samaritans support group will have a ‘major impact’ on the running of the service, says the leader of the charity’s Exeter, Mid and East Devon branch.

Read more
Fri, 12:59
MP Hugo Swire visit the King's School this week where he is pictured meeting students in the Teen Health Group. Ref sho 7123-48-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Hugo Swire praised students for their ‘passionate determination’ to address important issues

Read more
Fri, 06:30
Sally Neal has become Sidmouth's first female Crew Manager. Ref shs 7512-48-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A firefighter has made history after becoming the first woman in Sidmouth to reach the rank of crew manager.

Read more
Thu, 19:30
Plans have been lodged for Hillside House

A former hotel and restaurant in Newton Poppleford could be converted into a 13-bed care home.

Read more
Thu, 14:30

A temporary tariff of £2 per day will be introduced at Sidmouth’s town centre car parks next week.

Read more
Wed, 18:30
Natasha Koshti.

The Budleigh Salterton Committee for Cancer Research UK is holding an Evening In India on Saturday, November 28, at 7pm in the Public Hall.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 12°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Find a job in Sidmouth

Find planning applications