Students from Bishop Challoner Catholic Federation of Schools in Tower Hamlets have hand-written letters and delivered them to staff members at The Royal London Hospital as a way to say thank you.
Knowing the hospital would soon feel the impact of Covid-19, the idea first arose when Student Leadership Co-ordinator, James Johnston, and school Chaplain, Deacon Tony were looking online for ways to help front-line workers during the pandemic.
Proposing the idea to staff at the school, the message was then circulated to students who immediately took collective ownership and started thinking about what they’d like to include in their letters. The pair were blown away by how responsive students were at getting behind the project.
When asked about how the project started, Mr Johnston said: “The Royal London is an important place for us. So many of our students and staff have parents and family members working at the hospital, many of our students were also born there and so many of them owe their lives to the place. With this being said, this was a very personal project to our school. With so much bad news coming thick and fast, we wanted to respond in a safe and practical way, and in a way that could potentially lift spirits."
After the initial proposal to students, the project came together quickly. Staff and students who were in at the time were eager to start writing and put their personal touch on the letters. The letters were written during lunchtime and then collected at the end of the day. Mr Johnston said: “the entire school got behind the project and we’re particularly proud of how engaged students from Year 7 to Year 13 were.”
The letters were hand delivered to the hospital the next day by two students, Subomi (Year 13, right), and Desiree (Year 12, left), both of whom have a keen interest in medicine.
Subomi, who is currently holding an offer from a university for medicine thought it was a great opportunity for hospital workers to be acknowledged for their selflessness and dedication.
“At a young age we were taught the significance of ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, but often this becomes a routine response, and in some cases, it is not said at all. We are reminded in times of vulnerability and uncertainty that the work the NHS does goes beyond a job, and in reality, reflects the best parts of humanity. Not all heroes wear capes, and at the moment, most of them are wearing stethoscopes or scrubs.”
The letters were handed to The Royal London Reception team who then distributed them to the wider teams. As well as being hand-delivered, you can view all of the letters online here.