Barrow Rotary Club is bringing some festive cheer to Furness General Hospital (FGH) by putting up a beautiful Christmas tree and presenting a ‘Citizens’ Award’ to all staff at the hospital for the first time in the club’s history.
Every year Barrow Rotary Club, which was established in 1932, donates a Christmas tree to the hospital and Optech Fibres Ltd of Barrow donates the stunning lights. These generous donations are greatly appreciated by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) and Bay Hospitals Charity.
Lynne Wyre, Deputy Chief Nurse for UHMBT, was delighted to accept the Citizens’ Award on behalf of all of the staff at the hospital on Thursday 10 December.
There is usually an event with local schoolchildren singing Christmas carols next to the Christmas tree, however this will not take place this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The tree is sited outside the Oncology Department at FGH so that everyone at the hospital can enjoy it.
Dave Coverdale from Barrow, President of Barrow Rotary Club and a former Fire Service Commander for South Cumbria, said: “Every year we like to present someone with our Citizens’ Award and this year is the first time that we’ve awarded it to all of the staff within an organisation. Usually the award goes to an individual or occasionally to a couple.
“We have awarded it to all of the staff at Furness General Hospital for their outstanding, dedicated and caring work during the COVID-19 pandemic. We want them to know how much they are appreciated and respected by the whole community.”
Dave said Barrow Rotary Club has had some members who have benefited from the care of FGH staff over the last few months.
Dave explained: “We’ve had some members who have needed to use the hospital’s services and we are very grateful for that. If we can play our part, we are happy to do that. It’s great to have the news of the vaccine and we support the advice that we must not become complacent. We all agree we need to do our bit to help keep everyone safe and well.”
Dave added: “We are happy to be able to donate the tree this year. We just want to bring a little bit of Christmas cheer to the hospital.”
Alf Hadley from Barrow, Co-chairman of the Community and Vocational arm of Barrow Rotary Club and former President of the club, said: “We donate a Christmas tree every year because all of us in the Rotary Club like to make sure that the children, patients and staff are not forgotten about at Christmas.
“The Citizens’ Award is for all of the staff at the hospital. They have dealt with the coronavirus pandemic brilliantly. It has brought out the best in people.”
Alf, 83, a former professional rugby league player and joiner, who is now registered blind, is also hugely grateful to the hospital for the care he has received in recent years.
Alf said: “I could not have had better treatment every time I’ve been in hospital. The staff are absolutely brilliant. There’s not enough money in the world that I could give the staff to say how much it means to me to have had their care at the hospital.
“The Rotary Club is also a huge support to me personally. We’re like a big family and we all look after each other. That’s what the Rotary Club is all about.”
Alf added: “I would like to wish the hospital staff all the best for the future and hope that the sun shines stronger for everyone when the vaccine is rolled out!”
Heidi Bowron, Bay Hospitals Charity Engagement Coordinator at Barrow, said: “It’s so lovely that Barrow Rotary Club donates the tree every year. It lights up the lives of people at the hospital at what can be a very difficult time of year. We’d like to say a very warm ‘thank you’ to Barrow Rotary Club for their marvellous support.”
Lynne Wyre added: “We are humbled and thankful to the Rotary Club for honouring our staff with the Citizens’ Award this year. It is heart-warming to know that we are appreciated and recognised for the care we give to patients at Furness General Hospital. We are also very grateful for the lovely Christmas tree which lights up the hospital and brings joy to everyone at Christmas.