Sally Dynevor opens refurbished ‘May Draper’ tea bar at The Christie

Press release posted 21 May 2015

Long standing Coronation Street star, Sally Dynevor has returned to The Christie to open the newly refurbished May Draper tea bar.

Sally, who plays Sally Webster in the soap, and who was treated for breast cancer at The Christie in 2009, just after her character was also given a breast cancer story line, regularly used and volunteered in the tea bar throughout her treatment.

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, originally called The Holt Radium Institute came to be after local people raised funds to buy a piece of radium to treat cancer, patients came from all over the North West for the treatment.

One of the consultants' wives, May Draper, was concerned that the patients and their relatives had come long distances and had no refreshments, she obtained £10 from one of the doctors and bought a tea trolley and some china, and the wives of staff members gave out free cups of tea to the patients.

The Christie has maintained this tradition and the May Draper tea bar is still located in the outpatients department in the hospital. It continues to offer a much needed 'cuppa' to our patients who often arrive in an understandably, very nervous state. Of our 300 volunteers throughout the hospital, we have 40 volunteers working in the May Draper tea bar on five shifts, five days a week. It is an essential part of the hospital service.

Sally said: "The Christie saved my life and I was honoured to be asked to come back and re-open the May Draper tea bar. From my own experiences at The Christie, the tea bar provides a wonderful service to patients and shows how dedicated the volunteers who run the service are. The Christie is such an inspirational hospital, it really goes above and beyond to make sure patients are supported, even if it is as simple as a cup of tea between treatments."

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust through its fundraising activities, and delivers projects, equipment and improvements that are over and above what the NHS funds. The charity has over 30,000 supporters who raised a record breaking £14.8m last year.