RESIDENTS of a park home site have handed over £500 to their local doctors’ surgery, towards a scheme to improve its car park.

Members of Sandy Balls Residents’ Association gave the money to the Friends of Fordingbridge Surgery, who are trying to increase the spaces from 28 to 41.

Friends chairman Jackie Lydford told association members at the moment the appeal fund stands at over £14,000, with a target of £40,000.

She received the cheque along with practice manager Michelle Raymond.

Association treasurer Ray Gibbons said: “As residents at Sandy Balls and Crystal Hollow are regular “customers” of the surgery the friends’ appeal seemed the most logical local cause to support this year.”

Anyone wishing to become a Friend of Fordingbridge Surgery or wanting to make a donation should contact the surgery or call in for details or use the link on their website.

n When Fordingbridge Surgery relocated from Horseport in Bridge to the customised conversion of a wing of Fordingbridge Hospital in 1993 there were adequate car parking spaces for patients and other visitors.

Nearly 20 years later, with an increase in population and in the services available at the surgery, car parking has become a problem, which has been highlighted in several patient surveys.

The trustees of the Friends of Fordingbridge Surgery agreed that a car park extension falls within the charity's remit of providing facilities and services not available via the NHS and so plans were commissioned, and consent granted, with an estimated cost of £40,000.

The appeal was launched in spring last year and boosted at an early stage by the donation of £500 by retiring FOFS chairman, LT Col Mike Shand.

Thanks to special events including annual wine-tasting evenings, a spring draw and donations for refreshments at the autumn flu clinics, the appeal has reached more than £14,000.

The new friends trustee who has volunteered to co-ordinate fundraising is organising a stall at the Fordingbridge Summer Festival on July 21 and is asking for donations of home-made cakes.

Contact Elaine Rouse on 01425 653878 or Ann Biddlecombe on 01425 652249.