Schools, business, and residents are being urged to host a tea party to help raise vital funds for Maidstone Hospital and Tunbridge Wells Hospital.

The NHS Big Tea, which runs between 24 June and 7 July, is a chance for people to come together to help support the work of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Charitable Fund whilst also celebrating the NHS’s 71st birthday which is on Friday 5 July.

Monies raised will be used by the charitable arm of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells (MTW) NHS Trust to help enhance the standard of care, services and facilities provided by the Trust to patients, relatives, visitors and staff.

Laura Kennedy, Fundraising Manager for Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Charitable Fund, said: “The humble cup of tea has a long and proud association with the NHS.

“Originally served to patients in traditional fine cups with saucers and side spoon, tea was considered an important aspect of patient satisfaction and recovery.

“Tea brings us all together. It breaks down social boundaries, and like the NHS and NHS charities, it is a symbol of comfort and community. With that in mind, we couldn’t think of a better way for people living in Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells to toast our wonderful health service and staff whilst raising funds for the NHS.”

There are more than 250 NHS charities across the UK. Most of them focus on helping hospitals do more, whilst others support mental health trusts, community health trusts and ambulance trusts.

In recent years, NHS charities have helped fund major capital projects; pioneering research and medical equipment in hospitals, ensuring patients have access to the best possible care when they need it most.

They also play a key role in recruiting volunteers to support NHS staff, brightening wards and waiting areas with colourful and engaging art, and building an important link between hospitals and local communities.

To receive your free NHS Big Tea fundraising pack, email laura.kennedy8@nhs.net or call 01622 226428.

More information about the NHS Big Tea can be found by visiting www.nhsbigtea.org.uk