Twins

An NHS trust has shown its appreciation for the children of staff by sending thank you letters.

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW), a provider of mental health and disability services, has sent letters to children of staff thanking them for their love and support during these uncertain times.

Addressed to the children themselves, the letter explains that the Trust is facing a big challenge but that with their support and the hard work of their parent or loved one we can get through it.

Penned by CNTW’s Chief Executive John Lawlor and Acting Executive Director of Workforce and Organisational Development Lynne Shaw, the letter goes on to say the children’s love, jokes and smiles are now “more important than ever”.

Lynne Shaw said: “This is a very strange time for our children so we wanted to do something to show our appreciation for them. Many staff members have said going home to their children keeps them going and puts a smile on their face after a tiring shift.

“The project has been a real boost for staff morale, whose wellbeing is more important than ever before. Our staff are working extremely hard to continue providing high levels of care and children can play a huge part in helping families get through a potentially difficult time at work.

“We wanted to tell the children just how grateful we are.”

Inspired by a similar letter from a Trust in London spotted on Twitter, there has been an overwhelming response from staff with many taking to social media to share pictures of the letter alongside their children’s artwork.

Cheryl Carr, Specialist Occupational Therapist at CNTW, said: “My daughters were delighted to receive their letter from the Trust, it stimulated a lot of discussion around my role and the importance of the NHS, especially during the pandemic.

“It was a lovely touch for the Trust to take the time to acknowledge the sacrifices our children are making. The letters are a good keepsake for the future for my children to reflect on this historical time where the response of families across the country helped save the NHS from becoming overwhelmed.”

Many of the children of staff have been helped by the NHS themselves, which makes the letter all the more poignant. Identical twins Luke and Ryan, six, and Maisie, nine, pictured, were born as micro-babies, meaning they were extremely premature and spent a significant amount of time in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Weighing just 2lb 4oz, 3lb 15oz and 1lb 13oz respectively, they are all alive thanks to the NHS and for them in turn to receive a thank you from the organisation is really special.

The heart-felt letter also thanked children for being part of the CNTW team, saying “you might not realise but you’re playing a big part in helping us!” It ends with a message encouraging children to keep up the good work at home.

It also included a rainbow to colour in which can be put on the window to show support for the NHS. Parents were then invited to send the Trust pictures of the rainbows or anything else they draw or make that looks like the rainbow.

A dedicated email address has been set up for the pictures and there have been over 300 responses so far. Once the pictures have been collated they will be used as a design for staff recognition cards, displayed around the Trust’s sites and shared with local nursing homes.

Kate Buckle
Article by Kate Buckle
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