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In September, Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (ASPH) will thank and honour 5000 NHS colleagues, temporary workers and volunteers that have and continue to respond to the COVID pandemic, with a medal and commemorative yearbook. The COVID Star People’s Medal was the idea of Battle of Britain sculptor, Harry Gray, and is being made by apprentices in the old jewellery quarter of Birmingham.

Over the last 18 months, health and social care colleagues at ASPH and nationwide have worked tirelessly to continue to provide care to those who require it, whilst learning to manage the new challenges faced by the ongoing pandemic.

Suzanne Rankin, Chief Executive at Ashford and St Peter’s, said: “Team ASPH has worked incredibly hard and continues to go above and beyond to provide exceptional care for our patients throughout such an unprecedented time. Despite the difficulties faced, the team have really come together to support one another and have quickly adapted to the new ways of working. The Trust has also played a part in supporting clinical research trials to aid global and national learning of treatments, as well as supporting with the vaccine deployment programme giving over 25,000 vaccinations to health and social care colleagues in this time.”

“Our team has made a number of sacrifices over the past year and we have recognised this through various health and wellbeing initiatives such as an additional ‘Wellbeing Day’ and internal awards, such as the ASPH New Year’s Honours Awards, which acknowledged the amazing work of our colleagues. Going forward, we want to remember the efforts of Team ASPH throughout the COVID pandemic and the things we have learnt over the past 18 months.

“My Board colleagues and I wanted to gift each and every colleague with a permanent memento to keep for years to come, to remind them of their incredible achievements throughout this period and reflect on the challenges we faced together. We felt that a medal and a special edition photo yearbook would be the right way to do this. A historical record of the incredible achievements - something to share with loved ones over time and reflect on those colleagues who sadly lost their lives.”

ASPH approached Harry and asked him to make 5000 medals in honour of Team ASPH. The COVID Star People’s Medal was inspired by doctors and nurses following a stay in hospital by the Cambridge artist, Harry Gray. Harry was so moved by their work that he decided to design a contemporary version of the Florence Nightingale medal for NHS workers to wear in recognition of their service. This follows the national Thank You and NHS birthday celebrations, recognised on the 4th and 5th July, when the nation came together to thank the NHS, key workers, volunteers, neighbours, and those in the community that supported the pandemic response.

To commemorate the award of the medal and yearbook, the Trust will be holding a socially distanced event to personally honour and celebrate the contributions of each member of the team later this year.


Pictured above: COVID Star © https://www.harrygray.co.uk/home-medal


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