REMEMBER when we used to clap for the NHS?
Staff at the Alex were heroes then and they’re still heroes now, but acknowledging that has set one Ward 18 nurse on a mission to make sure every single member of staff receives due recognition.
And Helli Higgins’s efforts have proved so successful that both Worcestershire Royal Hospital and Kidderminster General look set to follow suit.
“My sister was part of the ‘love of scrubs’ movement, co-ordinating things in Bromsgrove,” said the Staff Nurse.
“She was buying and selling fabric and she ended up with a bit of spare money which she gave to me to buy gifts for the nurses, but there’s more than 700 staff at the Alex, some departments have been neglected and there was no way I could do this fairly.”
Instead, the mum of two from Catshill started asking around on free to collect websites – and the gifts started to pour in.
“I’ve got over 400 now and I’ve started making up little hampers as some are quite small,” said Helli.
“A beautician, Vicky Avis, donated 200 care packages and I’ve started being cheeky and asking local businesses if they can help too.”
The aim, via a raffle, is to say ‘thank you’ to all the staff while Helli is also running a second raffle ‘The Big One’ – giving colleagues the chance to win some of the larger donations.
“My partner in crime in all this is Ward Sister Michelle Willetts and we’ve been joined by ‘Rick the Porter’, Rick Risvegi, who covers all areas of the hospital,” said Helli.
“We’ve had some lovely comments, staff saying it’s really picked them up, and I had an email from the health trust’s chief nurse Vicky Morris thanking me, and really, that’s all the gift I needed.
“When we were doing clap for carers in the summer it was really uplifting. This lockdown though has been tougher, but we’ve coped, and I just want everyone to have a gift.”
Anyone who would like to donate a gift to Helli’s initiative can leave it at the hospital reception for Ward 18.