July 30 2014 Latest news:
Friday, July 4, 2014
The occupation of the closed social club at Goodmayes Hospital shows no signs of abating, as its 60-year-old evicted manager counts 66 days sleeping on pub furniture.
With the support of his 21-year-old daughter, Fin Robinson is conducting a lengthy sit-in protest at Goodmayes Hospital Staff Social Club over plans to demolish the building, which Fin has run for nearly 24 years.
Every night, the former nurse beds down on a long pub bench, and today, at 6.30am, the landlord turned activist moved his campaign to the front gates of the hospital - run by North East London NHS Foundation Trust (Nelft) - where he set up with a placard reading “NELFT TRUST BOARD LIES, LIES”.
“It’s taken a huge toll on my life,” the qualified nurse and social worker told the Recorder. “Because I worked altogether for 42 years and to have this taken from me in such a dishonest manner, I think is unforgiveable.
“Has it affected me? Yes it has.”
Nelft has previously said the social club’s closure is part of an approved phased demolition of facilities at Goodmayes Hospital as the trust improves services.
A spokesman for the Trust said: “The lease on the Goodmayes Hospital Sports and Social Club expired in 2013.
“However, we agreed with the Goodmayes Hospital Sports and Social Club to a new lease until April 2014 at the request of the Social Club to enable its committee to wind up its affairs or investigate other premises to operate from.
“However, we have no plans to forcibly remove anyone from the building at this time.”
As Fin takes his protest to the hospital gates, his daughter - a drama student at university - stays behind at the social club to ensure he doesn’t get locked out.
He said he also receives support from wellwishers, many of whom work he claims work for the Trust.
“I’ve a fridge up there - I could feed 10 homeless people.
“People keep coming bringing me supplies all the time.
“I’ve got lots of support on Facebook and Twitter. I get hundreds of personal messages from staff who can’t put a public posting up.”