On 5 July, it will be 72 years since the NHS began.
During the last few months, the NHS has been through the greatest test in its lifetime. And we will continue to deal with the many challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic for the foreseeable future.
We have experienced many difficult times during these months. So this year, as we remember all those we have lost, the way we mark our anniversary will have a different feel to years gone by.
Every week of the pandemic, we have seen the communities we are here to serve show their love and appreciation for the NHS and carers, whether by clapping on doorsteps at 8pm, donating to our charity to help our staff, or spreading the word about our response to the COVID pandemic. And so many have done their bit during the difficult weeks of lockdown by following the government guidance.
So we want to use our 72nd anniversary as an opportunity to say thank you back.
On behalf of Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, we want to say a special thank you to you. You helped us through difficult times. You helped us to help you, the community we are here to serve.
There are a few ways we are marking this occasion with our staff, and there are ways that you can join in too.
National memorial and clap
Saturday 4 July
In the evening, put a light in your window – an LED candle, a lamp or a torch – to remember those we have lost.
National landmarks will also be lit up as part of our collective memorial, and the Albert Clock in Barnstaple will also be lit up blue.
Sunday 5 July
On the birthday of our NHS, let’s say ‘Thank You’ together.
5pm – Join a one-off clap for carers – the biggest yet, because this time it is to say thank you to everybody, including everyone who has shown their support for the NHS and care workers during these challenging times.
5:05pm – have a socially distanced cuppa to thank each other – our friends, family and neighbours – for looking out for us, helping the vulnerable, or simply doing the right thing and staying at home
Afterwards – stay outside to chat to your neighbours, or reach out to someone who is lonely, isolated or stuck in another household, to let them know they are appreciated.
Commemorative pin badge for staff
At NDHT, to show our appreciation to our staff for their work throughout the pandemic, we will be giving a commemorative pin badge to all staff, including our colleagues working for Sodexo, the Staff Bank and our volunteers.
Staff are voting for one of the designs below, and the most popular design will be turned into a pin badge.