HRH The Prince of Wales thanks “remarkable” NHS staff in personal video message to celebrate 50th anniversary
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales surprised staff at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust today with a very personal video message, to commemorate their 50th anniversary and to express his “heartfelt thanks and kindest wishes” to the NHS staff for their work during the pandemic.
Airedale Hospital in West Yorkshire celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and on 11 December 1970 was formally opened by The Prince, when he was just 22 years of age. Unable to visit in person due to the current restrictions, he instead created a personal video message that was shared with all 3000 staff and volunteers today.
From his Birkhall home in Scotland, HRH The Prince of Wales, expressed how “humbled and deeply grateful” he and his family were. He went on to share his “memorable” recollections of his visit half a century ago, “particularly meeting all the staff” and shared his admiration for the hospital.
He said it was “hard to believe it had been 50 years” since he came to open the hospital when he had been “especially struck by your beautiful location, surrounded by green hills on the edge of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales”, an area which he said “is very close to my heart”.
His Royal Highness said he was particularly pleased to hear about the plans to develop the green space and plant 50 trees around the site to commemorate the anniversary, which he said “represents a real investment in the future.” He personally praised the gardening team who “work incredibly hard”.
He went on to acknowledge how this year has been “a profoundly difficult one for this country, and globally” and the “extraordinary challenges it has created for the NHS”.
The message was full of warmth and admiration for NHS staff: He continued: “My heart has gone out to all of you working tirelessly to care for people affected by this cruel and indiscriminate virus.”
He thanked staff for caring for patients and supporting their families and “for keeping the whole NHS ship afloat while at the same time having your own families to care for”.
He ended his message by wholeheartedly thanking staff “wherever you work, whatever job you do, you have all played a vital part in fighting this pandemic, as part of our remarkable NHS.”
“I want to say to you all at Airedale that you occupy a very special place at the heart of your community and I know you will be the cornerstone of your community for the next 50 years.”
Brendan Brown, Chief Executive at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said:
“We are deeply honoured and absolutely delighted that His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has taken the time to make this very special message for our staff.
“It has been an extraordinary year, and certainly not the year of celebration that we had envisaged. However it has shown us what we’re capable of when really tested, and our people have done us proud, demonstrating astonishing dedication and professionalism in the face of a truly challenging situation. I know that this message from His Royal Highness will be a boost to them after all they’ve been through: it is a fitting way to honour the hospital’s 50th anniversary, and the Trust’s commitment to providing services for the next 50 years.”
Link to message: https://youtu.be/LUn4F5gRsS0