The Friends of The Royal Marsden, Chelsea

For over 80 years, the Friends have supported the work of the hospital by providing volunteers and funding for equipment and service to benefit patients, their carers and staff at the hospital

Around 200 volunteers give over 20,000 hours of their time to the hospital in addition to which they donate some £200k to the hospital every year.  Over the past 10 years they have raised and donated more than £2m, towards the purchase of equipment and services for the benefit of patients their carers and staff.

In 2019 they were awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service which is the equivalent of an MBE for volunteer groups.  They were also a finalist in the Kensington and Chelsea Business Awards.


Run and fully staffed by volunteers, the Café is open Mon-Fri serving hot and cold drinks, as well as, amongst other things, sandwiches, healthy snacks and cakes. 


Like the Café, the shop is run and fully staffed by volunteers Mon-Fri.  It is used by patients, staff and visitors and serves drinks, snacks, confectionery, toiletries, magazines, cards and gifts


The Royal Marsden, Chelsea is one of few hospitals where patients can receive fresh flowers and volunteers ensure they are freshened and displayed in the wards. They also arrange ad hoc donations of fresh cut flowers.

Shop and Hobby trollies

These popular trollies bring the shop to the bedside, ensuring that patients who may not be mobile can purchase drinks, snacks etc. as well as games, puzzles and activity books.

Tea Trolley

Every morning, Mon-Fri the Tea trolley is taken around the Medical Day Unit serving complimentary hot drinks to patients and their carers.


Volunteers plant and maintain the garden terraces well as the seasonal pots, planters and containers around the hospital.  They also plant and maintain the ‘pick your own’ herb pots.

Meet & Greet

Meet & Greet volunteers know the hospital intimately and offer a navigation service, Mon-Fri, to make getting around the hospital as stress free as possible.

Patient and Clinical Support

Volunteers assist patients and staff in Horder Ward, Outpatients and the Medical Day Unit. Roles include helping at mealtimes, dispensing water and general administration tasks.

Books and magazines

Secondhand paperbacks are sold in the shop and the Outpatients Café while magazines, donated by Conde Nast, are distributed around various clinical areas by volunteers.


The Friends receive no governmental funding and operate with only one part time member of staff.  Everything else is done by volunteers including all their accounting, website, marketing, PR and communications. They run fundraising events throughout the year to supplement the monies raised through subscriptions, donations and legacies.