Retiring chairman

Ray Asher retiring as chairman of 'Friends of Babington Hospital'
Ray Asher retiring as chairman of 'Friends of Babington Hospital'

The chairman of a Belper hospital group has stepped down after 20 years in the role.

Ray Asher has retired from his position with the Friends of Babington Hospital.

A meal was held in his honour at The Railway, in Cowers Lane, near Belper.

The 74-year-old first took his place with the group following the sudden death of the previous chairman.

He explained: “I said I would do it for a year until they got someone who knew what they were doing - I’ve been there ever since.”

Over the years he has helped raise more than £200,000 for the Derby Road hospital, which has gone towards providing equipment for the wards, a new conservatory and televisions for the patients. Ray said his age and health problems had compelled him to step aside and allow someone else to take over the role.

“I’ve met some very nice people. We have had fabulous support form the local community, hospital management and the PCT,” he said.