A ‘sitting’ tribute to Chesterfield Royal Hospital colleagues and key workers
A local fundraiser has given colleagues, patients and visitors at Chesterfield Royal Hospital a chance to put their feet up.
Andrew Woodard, who lives at Langwith Junction, raised £1,250, using it to buy a bench that serves as a tribute to all of those who have worked hard during the COVID-19 pandemic at the Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
The NHS-blue bench sits proudly, in plain view just outside the main entrance to the hospital, emblazoned with the words “Thank you to our amazing NHS Staff. Thank you to our Key Workers” in tribute to the collective effort over the past five months.
Andrew said: “I’m a local lad, born and bred in Derbyshire, and I wanted to do something to recognise the incredible work they’ve done in treating and looking after people, not just those who have tested positive for COVID, but everyone who’s needed help.”
He added: “I grew up around here, this is my local hospital, my daughter Sian was born here and now works here on the Emergency Management Unit (EMU) so it’s a big part of my life. I’m so proud of everyone here, all of the ley workers across the county and what they’ve done. This bench was something practical that I could raise money to show how much I, and those who donated and helped to raise the money, appreciate what they’ve done.”
Andrew set up a GoFundMe page at the beginning of April with the intention of raising the £1,250 needed to get the bench made. He knew of a gentleman called Chris Kennedy who owns a company called Roll and Scroll based in Grantham that produces solid steel benches that are cut to a design and powder coated to last.
Andrew added: “He’s made hundreds over the years, including a number for Armed Forces and Remembrance Day and an incredible one that was given to Sir Captain Tom Moore on his birthday. He has done a few for other NHS organisations and the design, colour and sentiment was perfect for what I had in mind. I’m just so grateful for everything our key workers have done and pleased to see that the bench has pride of place and people are using it.”
A spokesperson for the Royal said: “It looks tremendous, it’s such a bold NHS-blue; you can’t miss it outside the main entrance and it has been very well used already. We’ve had so many lovely gestures, donations and messages of support but this is something permanent with a lasting message. It truly reflects the work that we and our partners across the health community, emergency services and public sector have done in partnership and we would like to thank Andrew and everyone who donated to his cause.”