A tea party has been held to mark the closure of a Sutton charity after more than 60 years of fundraising in the North Cheam community.

The League of Friends, established in 1955, has closed its shop in London Road’s Spire St Anthony’s Hospital due to ‘changes in shopping habits and other factors’.

A final cheque for more than £21,000 was presented to St Raphael’s Hospice by chair of trustees Sue Poulter after her late husband, Derek, was its chair for eight years.

St Raphael’s Hospice’s chief executive Mike Roycroft said: “Over their 63 years, the League of Friends has raised over £900,000 – in today’s money that is well over £1 million – and it has gone to the benefit of the people of Sutton and Merton.

“Some of it was for pieces of equipment but most of it has gone on keeping the hospice running.

“But also it has provided the little extras that our patients deserve.”

He also said the League of Friends provided patients and their families with free newspapers and TVs for their rooms across four decades, which 'might not seem important but it is when you are at your lowest point'.

Fundraising efforts were dedicated to St Raphael’s Hospice after the hospital was sold to Spire Healthcare and privatised in 2014.

It was previously under the ownership of Daughters of the Cross of Liege and money was raised through a shop in the facility for several years.

Mr Roycroft added: “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the League of Friends for their long and valuable service.”

Sister Clare-Joseph was at the tea party was at the original formation of the charity as well at The Orangery café on March 29.