Royal Free: Trust celebrates staff with ‘hero’ pins as volunteers sign off
PUBLISHED: 12:45 20 August 2020 | UPDATED: 13:44 21 August 2020
The Royal Free NHS Trust surprised staff and volunteers with special “RFL Hero” pins, while some of the people who gave up their time for free during the pandemic have told of their experiences.
The pins, which were accompanied by a thank you message put together by the Royal Free Charity, were a surprise for staff.
Head of nursing research Helen Jones said receiving a pin was “amazing”.
“The past few months have been exceptionally busy for our team of research nurses and delivery staff, supporting the hospital in getting through Covid-19,” she said.
“The importance of research within the current pandemic cannot be underestimated. At the beginning we were dealing with a virus with no known treatments but thanks to research teams like ours we now have approved treatments and the research studies continue.”
The cards included a heartfelt message from the trust’s chair, Dominic Dodd, and chair of the Royal Free Charity Judy DeWinter.
As for the volunteers, Richard Sugar from East Finchley, said he was delighted to help the support team at the trust.
He said: “I wanted to do something local, something for the NHS. It has been really great becoming part of the team and engaging with the NHS staff. When you’re quite isolated during lockdown it’s nice to have an opportunity to meet people and have that friendly day to day chat.”
His colleague Rui Mendes took a break from a hairdressing career to help out.
He said he “really enjoyed the experience of getting to know the doctors and the nurses” and is now looking to work at the hospital full-time.
Journalist Harry Taylor was also among those to volunteer, he wrote about his experience in the Ham&High saying: “It’s been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done - but as wonderful as it’s been - I hope not to return.”
The trio all thanked the staff with whom they worked.
Stephen Downer who supervised them for several months, said: “I am so grateful to these three volunteers, who have been with us since the start of the Covid-19 lockdown. Over the past few months that they have manned the scrubs distribution station, everyone has been greeted with a smile.”
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