mid 1700’sThe company was created
Whilst being formed as a company Limited by Guarantee in 1950, the Company can trace it’s origins into the mid 1700s, being at that time a social welfare benefits entity similar to that of a Credit Union, assisting its members financially at time of need.
It appears that much of the need at that time was for assistance with the payment of medical bills and associated Doctor/Therapist fees.
1787Wakefield General Dispensary built
There being at that time a need for better health provision for the community, resources were channelled into the building and provision of the Wakefield General Dispensary to provide community health care inclusive of homeopathic and herbal remedies.
1854Clayton Hospital was founded
The Clayton Hospital founded by Thomas Clayton, a local Philanthropist, was incorporated with the Dispensary. The scheme continued to raise funds and provide assistance for the Hospital, Community and Patients under the titles Clayton Hospital, Wakefield General Dispensary Workpeople’s Fund and Workpeople’s Clayton Hospital Fund. The employees of the mining and engineering support companies of the area including the railways providing significant contributions towards the upkeep of the Hospital.
1948National Health Service Created
Becoming part of the new National Health Service, the Hospital continued to need funding for all manner of patient medical needs and associated equipment and amenities.
At this point the Huddersfield and District Hospitals Contributory Scheme which represented the commercial activities in the Huddersfield, Holmfirth and Mirfield areas plus surrounding districts joined forces with ourselves to form the Wakefield and District Hospitals Contributory Scheme Ltd.
The whole, being incorporated, set out to meet the needs of the workpeople of the district in conjunction with the government’s aims for the rebuilding of society following WW2. This heavily involved the areas Mining, Engineering, Construction and allied industries.
The welfare benefits package made available to our members and their families reflected this aim.
The benefits package continued to evolve and as the NHS grew it was evident that support for the hospital and patients was exceeding national funds available. The scheme, in keeping with its ethos, was already providing individual health benefits ensuring that timely optical, oral hygiene and other preventative medical checks were carried out.
The benefits package along with funding towards various patient amenities and equipment needs, both at the Hospitals in the area and within the community at large, was recognised and the scheme was granted Charity Status and duly entered on the Register of Charities. Registration No 226121.
1967Registered as an Insurance Company
The Board of Trade decided that the scheme should accept regulation as an insurance company and duly registered Wakefield and District Hospitals Contributory Scheme Ltd. as an insurance company.
1986Wakefield Health Scheme
The company adopted the trading name Wakefield Health Scheme. The Scheme has seen it’s role in assisting the NHS provision to the community continue to increase over the years with requests for assistance ranging from Syringe Drivers to Electronic Profiling beds. The Hospice movement making requests for equipment to maintain provision including replacement baths and bathrooms for patients.
1990-94Complimentary Therapy Centre and First Steps Day Nursery established
In its bid to continue to assist the community health care provision The Charity provided a dedicated Multidisciplinary Complementary Therapy Centre along with a 14 place day nursery on site.
1994Premier Health Benefits
A change of trading name to Premier Health Benefits took place.
2001First Steps Day Nursery new building
Building on the success of First Steps Day Nursery, the Scheme opened Caduceus House, a purpose built 37 place child day care facility, inclusive of 12 baby places and an 80 person training / function room, available for community and charity use.
2002-4 Physio Plus introduced
The introduction of three new schemes, to reflect the needs of the times, were introduced along with a bespoke Corporate Physiotherapy product.
2005‘Thanks To You’ launch
In recognition of the long history of community giving Premier Health Benefits held its first ‘Thanks To You’ campaign. The campaign was carried out to remind members of Premier Health Benefits Healthcare Cash Plans that their loyalty generated the income, which allowed the charity to support health care providers.
June 2008Changes in Charity Law
Following the Changes in Charity Law the administration of Premier Health Benefits is transferred to Engage Mutual Assurance. WDHCS Ltd continues to support worthwhile good causes within the community.
2012Changes in Charity Law
WDHCS Ltd changes its name from Wakefield & District Hospitals Contributory Scheme Ltd to Wakefield & District Health & Community Support Ltd to better reflect its revised aims and objectives, evaluating new ideas to generate support for its local community.
2013Inaugural Charity Ball
The first Charity Ball is organised as a fund raiser for Wakefield Hospice & Co-Active who each received a donation of £3758
2014Flutterbuys Charity Shop
We opened in May 2014 and so far have given £35 000 We are probably the only charity shop where £100% of shop income goes to local dementia care. New stock arrives daily, and we are fortunate that we receive a variety of stock to suit everyone’s needs. Our small friendly, dedicated team of volunteers assist the shop manager, in making it an inviting shopping experience for all our customers.
2014Expansion of First Steps Day Nursery from 37 to 60 places
Building on the previous successes of First Steps Day Nursery and to help reduce the waiting list by creating extra provision, the training / function room was converted for 3-5 year olds leaving extra spaces for younger children on the lower level.