Bishop Auckland Celebrates NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers Day

Councillor Katie Eliot, Mayor of Bishop Auckland with NHS Staff

Bishop Auckland Town Council has marked the first NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers Day with range of activities throughout the town to show their gratitude to all NHS and frontline staff on this new annual day of thanks.

The 5th July 1948 was an historic moment in our country’s history, as it was the day our pioneering National Health Service (NHS) was born, bringing free healthcare to all. It has been treasured every year since, but never more so than since March 2020 when the Coronavirus pandemic gripped the UK and changed everyone’s lives.

The celebrations started at 10am at Bishop Auckland General Hospital with a ceremony of thanks, which saw the NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers flag hoisted in the presence of the Mayor of Bishop Auckland, Councillor Katie Eliot, Sue Jacques, Chief Executive Officer of Bishop Auckland General Hospital and Jenny Flynn MBE a Non-Executive Director and Senior Independent Director of the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust along with frontline NHS Staff.

This was followed at 11am with a salute, taken by the Queens representative, the Lord Lieutenant of County Durham Mrs Sue Snowdon followed by a two minutes silence to reflect and remember those from the NHS, Social Care and other key services who have lost their lives in the service of others. The Last Post and Reveille was played by buglers from the 8th Rifles, of St Andrews Road, Bishop Auckland. Colour Sergeant Chris Coxon, Lance Corporal Foster and Corporal Thompson were in attendance.

Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Mrs Sue Snowdon has said “All our lives have changed dramatically as a result of the terrible Covid-19 pandemic which has brought much sorrow and tragedy to many people. The NHS and all its wonderful, compassionate and caring staff have throughout done an amazing, remarkable job. They have shown such resilience during these difficult and challenging times, working tirelessly to ensure all in their care received the very best healthcare experience. Their dedication and commitment to all their patients has won the admiration and appreciation of the whole country, and today is our opportunity to thank each and every one of them for the service they have given.”

Lord Lieutenant of County Durham, Mrs Sue Snowdon with NHS Staff

The national celebration has a focus of #NHSBigTea to encourage frontline workers to recharge and take care of their mental health. In support of this Bishop Auckland Town Council have provided ‘Big Tea’ hampers to Bishop Auckland General Hospital along with the three GP surgeries in the town. The hampers will help to provide tea break essentials to almost 900 people across the four sites. The tea in the hampers was provided courtesy of the Community Champions at Morrisons Bishop Auckland.

Staff at Bishop Auckland General Hospital with Hampers          Mayor of Bishop Auckland, Councillor Katie Eliot with hampers for NHS Staff

Sue Jacques, Chief Executive Officer of Bishop Auckland General Hospital, said “It’s amazing to have Councillor Eliot here today on such an important day for the NHS, it’s 73rd Birthday. Today is an opportunity for us to recognise everything that has happened over the last 16 months, the tremendous effort that frontline workers have put in over that time and of course to acknowledge all those who have very sadly lost their lives due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The wider community have engaged with the celebration, which has seen, schools and nursery children from across the town supplying fabulous pictures to decorate the windows of the Town Council Offices, and some have even held “rainbow clothes” days in support. King James Women’s Institute have crafted an intricate banner which can be seen in the window of Number42 in the market place. The Auckland Project also have a celebration flag flying to show support across the town. The Auckland Project have assisted Bishop Auckland Town Council by partnering with the event. Businesses such as ‘Just Like Grandmas’ and ‘Sam Zair’s Café‘ on Fore Bondgate, community groups like ‘Bishop Auckland – the Big Neighbourhood Windowland trail’ and charities like ‘ Angel Trust’ have all been joining in with rainbow displays or flying flags, to give thanks and help bring the rainbows to Bishop Auckland.

The event holds a special significance for the new Mayor of Bishop Auckland, Councillor Katie Eliot as the fundraising for her year in office is to benefit County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust with a focus on Bishop Auckland General Hospital. Councillor Eliot has said of the celebrations “Being involved in the first annual NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers Day is really important to me as the NHS is very close to my heart. I believe it is important to give thanks for the work which the staff do and I am thrilled that so many members of the community have engaged with the celebration, through crafts, displays and our hampers. I hope we can grow these celebrations as a town to show our appreciation for the invaluable work which NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers do.”

Socially distanced garden parties, afternoon tea, doorstep clapping and the ringing of Church bells is encouraged at 8pm on Monday 5th July to close the celebrations.

For any further information contact the Town Council on 01388 207110 or email council@bishopauckland-tc.gov.uk