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Blue Hearts appeal to thank NHS workers during coronavirus pandemic

4 minute read
Blue Hearts appeal to thank NHS workers during coronavirus pandemic

Published by Carol Musgrave at 6:00am 7th May 2020. (Updated at 7:24am 7th May 2020)

A new national fundraising campaign has been launched to pay tribute to NHS staff and raise funds for NHS charities - and it is all thanks to a Guildford man.

Andy Williams, whose wife Sally has been an NHS nurse for 15 years, came up with the idea of helping to support the health service, following a Thursday Clap for Carers session on 26 March when he noticed landmarks buildings were lit up in blue with a ‘Thank You NHS’ message.

Andy told Eagle Radio the aim is for households to display a Blue Heart in the windows of their homes - similiar to the rainbow displays - after donating £10 for the hearts.

The profits will go to NHS Charities Together, the same charity that the legendary Captain Tom Moore raised money for.

The hearts are now on sale here.

Andy said he is hoping the campaign will attract a good response: “There are 25 million houses in the UK, so if just 10 per cent bought a heart, we could raise millions.”

He said part of his motivation was witnessing the dedication and commitment shown during the coronavirus pandemic by Sally, who trained at the Royal Surrey and is now treating patients with Covid-19. 

Sally usually works as part of an NHS nursing team at a school for children with profound special needs, but currently is deployed to a community hospital treating patients with, or recovering from, Covid-19.

Andy described her as "an absolute inspiration:"

“After a long uncomfortable shift wearing PPE Sally comes home exhausted but determined to do her bit again the next day. 

“For me, it is a worry that she is exposed to the disease on the frontline, especially as we have three young daughters, and I’m sure this is the same for all families of NHS workers. So, it only seems right that we say thank you to them all.

“Sally is so modest and often feels embarrassed when the street starts clapping on a Thursday – she just sees it as doing her job.

"But for all the people like her, to come home from a shift and see entire rows of houses with a blue heart would be something special.”

Blue Hearts NHS
The blue hearts can be displayed in windows.

Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together, Ellie Orton, thanked Blue Hearts for Heroes "for choosing to raise money for NHS Charities Together.

"We’re all so grateful for the incredible work of our NHS staff and volunteers and I hope this initiative helps show frontline workers just how much their hard work and dedication means to us all.” 

The campaign is also supported by NHS Million, a non-profit initiative run by NHS staff.

According to its website, it aims  to "improve the morale of NHS staff, raise awareness of crucial issues that impact the NHS, and in turn improve clinical outcomes."

A spokesperson for the NHS Million team said: “Our mission is to get Britain to celebrate the NHS and improve mental wellbeing and morale amongst NHS workers. We can’t wait to see a flood of blue hearts decorating homes across the country in support of every hard-working nurse, porter, doctor and everyone else striving to keep Britain healthy.”