Happy birthday NHS! Join Big Tea to say thanks

Join the NHS Big Tea on Monday July 5.

Join the NHS Big Tea on Monday July 5. - Credit: NHS Big Tea

Celebrations are taking place across the St Albans district on Monday to mark the 73rd anniversary of the NHS, and to recognise the amazing generosity of charity fundraisers and donors on patients, staff and services.

Thanks to the efforts of countless fundraisers and donors from across the area, health and care organisations in Herts have received thousands of pounds in grants.

Monday marks 73 years since the foundation of the National Health Service and celebrations include NHS ‘birthday teas’, various buildings and council facilities being lit up in NHS blue, and a special service of thanks at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

The anniversary is also being used as an opportunity to reflect on the impact of the pandemic, which has seen hospitals caring for thousands of seriously ill COVID-19 patients while continuing to manage the ‘everyday’ health and wellbeing concerns of the population.

At the same time, the NHS has rolled out the biggest vaccination programme in history thanks to the collective effort of GP practice staff, community and hospital trusts, and everyone who has responded to the call to protect themselves, their friends and their families against the virus by getting vaccinated.

Raise, the West Hertfordshire Hospitals charity, is urging St Albans residents to join the nation’s biggest tea break on Monday and help raise money for the incredible people in our NHS who’ve done so much to help everyone get through the pandemic.

Raise wants as many people as possible to get involved in a national outpouring of love and thanks for NHS staff and volunteers on its birthday by hosting or taking part in an NHS Big Tea at 3pm.

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Each event can be in person or virtual, with the community, friends, family or at work, and is a chance to reflect and say thank you for everything that NHS staff and volunteers have done and continue to do, by taking part in the nation’s biggest tea break to raise money for Raise.

People can host their own event or they can show their support by taking five minutes to enjoy a tea break, texting £5 to support NHS charities and tagging five friends on social media and calling on them to do the same.

Raise charity director Sofia Sheikh said: “We would love for everyone to get involved in our Big Tea, with a year where tea drinking has been practised to a fine art, whether in a flask outside your nana’s house or in a garden with five other friends it’s been constant and what better way to celebrate how far we have come than to raise a cup or mug to the NHS.”

Ellie Orton, chief executive of NHS Charities Together, which is behind the NHS Big Tea, said: “Many of us have a lot to be grateful to NHS staff and volunteers for following the year we have had. They have been at the forefront of the response to one of the biggest challenges our country has ever faced.

£NHS Big Tea is chance to show our support for them by joining a national outpouring of thanks this July. For many, this will be an outpouring of joy, celebrating the vaccine and all that it is allowing us to do again. For others, it will be an outpouring of thanks, for everything that our NHS champions have done for us.

"For some, sadly, it will be a moment of reflection for the loss of loved ones. Whatever the emotion, please join the nation’s biggest tea break to raise money for the incredible people in our NHS.”

To take part and get your pack, visit https://raisewestherts.org.uk/nhs-big-tea-2021/

For more information on NHS Charities Together, visit nhscharitiestogether.co.uk