A forest of flowers has been delivered to staff at North Walsham’s hospital as a “thank you” for their work during the coronavirus crisis.
Fifty bouquets were delivered to the town’s War Memorial Hospital by local haulage firm Daniels Transport and The Florist Shop at Wroxham, who doubled the size of the original £500 order as their contribution.
It was the idea of Charlotte and Ben Daniels, whose mum Binni Thurtle and aunt Carrie Moore are both health care assistants at the unit, which is treating Covid and non-Covid patients.
Charlotte explained: “We have seen the Norfolk and Norwich getting lots of gifts and felt our local hospital needed some recognition too – because staff there are dealing with coronavirus patients, and we know they are finding it tough at times. So we thought it would be nice to send the nursing, cleaning and kitchen staff working on the wards some flowers to let them know people value their work.”
Her brother, and father John Daniels, delivered the surprise floral gifts to the hospital helped by Andrew Rushmer and Ray Martin from the Florist Shop which is run by Rachel Pegg.
Ward sister Kerry Howarth said: “The staff are thrilled with the flowers. They are working so hard in full Personal Protective Equipment, and know people are thinking of them, but this gift is a real boost.”
The hospital’s Friends group is spending hundreds of pounds of donated cash to provide weekly goody parcels of food, drink, snacks and treats to support the staff.
Friends chairman Keith Jarvis added: “Our town hospital is really valued by the community in normal times – but during this crisis the amount of support being shown from businesses and families really proves how much the staff’s hard work and care in difficult times is appreciated.”
Goody boxes have also come from the Happisburgh Road stores, and hot meals donated by the Labone Indian restaurant. Several people have rallied round, getting out their sewing machines to make uniform laundry bags and headbands to stop masks behind staff’s ears.
The hospital’s mothership, the Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust, has also provided staff with wellbeing packs including snacks, ready meals, drinks and hand cream. It is also plans to provide fresh fruit, tissues, and creams and to protect the longer term wellbeing of staff.
The trust has confirmed that the 24-bed hospital has been expanded to help cope with increased demand during the Covid crisis by converting a day room, normally used for patients and visitors to relax in, into a four-bed temporary ward.