A proud husband whose wife is treating patients with Covid-19 has launched a stirring campaign to see every home in the UK display a blue heart to say thank you to the NHS – and potentially raise millions for NHS Charities Together in the process.
Andy Williams was so moved at seeing the work done by wife Sally in Guildford that he launched the Blue Hearts 4 Heroes campaign after a flash of inspiration during the first national Clap for Carers.
His idea was to design a large blue thank you heart on card which could easily be placed in the windows of homes every day of the week, and not just on Thursdays.
Now his dream is about to become reality with hearts going on sale.
The hearts cost from £10 with all profits going to NHS Charities Together.
Andy, 49, said, “It’s very emotional to think the campaign is finally underway – and the response we have had already is incredible.
“I got the idea at the first ever Clap for Carers on March 26 when I saw so many famous buildings lit up in blue with a ‘Thank You NHS’ message
“I thought it would be great if people could buy something to decorate their own home to show support, and to raise money for NHS Charities Together at the same time.
“There are 25 million houses in the UK, so if just 10 per cent bought a heart, we could raise millions.”
The real inspiration behind the heart is Sally Williams, 45, who trained at the Royal Surrey County Hospital and has been a nurse for 15 years.
She would normally be working as part of an NHS nursing team at a school for children with profound special needs, but due to the pandemic is instead deployed to a community hospital treating patients with, or recovering from, Covid-19.
Andy said: “After a long uncomfortable shift wearing PPE Sally comes home exhausted but determined to do her bit again the next day. She’s an absolute inspiration.
“For me, it is a worry that she is exposed to the disease on the frontline, especially as we have three young daughters, and I’m sure this is the same for all families of NHS workers. So, it only seems right that we say thank you to them all.
“Sally is so modest and often feels embarrassed when the street starts clapping on a Thursday – she just sees it as doing her job. But for all the people like her, to come home from a shift and see entire rows of houses with a blue heart would be something special.”
Blue Hearts 4 Heroes is raising funds in aid of NHS Charities Together, the same charity that legendary Captain Tom Moore raised funds for.
Chief Executive Ellie Orton said: “Thank you Blue Hearts 4 Heroes for choosing to raise money for NHS Charities Together. We’re all so grateful for the incredible work of our NHS staff and volunteers and I hope this initiative helps show frontline workers just how much their hard work and dedication means to us all.”
The campaign is also supported by NHS Million, a non-profit initiative run by NHS staff to create a super-team of a million people who love and cherish the NHS.
A spokesperson for the NHS Million team said: “Our mission is to get Britain to celebrate the NHS and improve mental wellbeing and morale amongst NHS workers. We can’t wait to see a flood of blue hearts decorating homes across the country in support of every hard-working nurse, porter, doctor and everyone else striving to keep Britain healthy.”
Go to www.bluehearts4heroes.co.uk to buy your blue heart and say thank you to the NHS. A minimum spend of £10 is required with 100% of profits donated in aid of NHS Charities Together.