BNSSG Healthier Together

NHS heroes invited to NHS 75 national celebrations


Local NHS staff and volunteers, representing a range of NHS roles, will be joining the national celebrations at Westminster Abbey and 10 Downing Street to commemorate the NHS turning 75 this week (Wednesday 5 July).

Attendees from Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire include a volunteer listener from the Bristol Royal Infirmary, the Director of Nursing at Weston General Hospital and an emergency planning manager from the local NHS Integrated Care Board.

They were nominated by colleagues to join the Westminster Abbey NHS 75 service, while other members were personally invited to attend a reception at 10 Downing Street.

The two celebrations are being held to celebrate NHS workers and volunteers who have contributed to NHS services as well as marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of the NHS.

The reception at 10 Downing Street is due to be held at 11:45 where invitees will be greeted by the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and other political leaders of government.

Joanna Poole is the Director of Nursing at Weston General Hospital and has been invited to attend the reception at 10 Downing Street. Joanna said:

“I feel honoured to be given the opportunity to attend Downing Street to celebrate the NHS 75th birthday and I am thrilled to represent my UHBW colleagues who go above and beyond every day despite the challenges presented to them. It is exciting to visit one of the most famous places in the world which is steeped in history, and I am very much looking forward to meeting the Prime Minister and of course Larry the Chief Mouser cat!”

The Westminster Abbey service for NHS 75 will begin at 11am and will include an address by NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard. The service will honour the NHS workforce and its volunteers, as well as reflecting on the last 75 years.

Nida Digma, Practice Development Nurse for Stroke and Neurology at Southmead Hospital, which is run by North Bristol NHS Trust, will be attending the Westminster Abbey service. She said:

“I feel so proud to be invited to represent colleagues at North Bristol NHS Trust at such a prestigious event to mark the 75th Anniversary of the NHS. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and should be a very fitting event to mark the NHS’s 75th birthday.”

Sophia Tang, 18, who is an NHS befriender volunteer at Bristol Royal Infirmary, has been invited to attend the service at Westminster Abbey. She said:

“Coming together with so many inspirational people to celebrate this milestone year for the NHS is such a special opportunity, especially as an aspiring medic! The amazing feeling of being part of something greater than myself is something I am sure to be reminded of at this event.

“Having the privilege of listening to and being there for patients in their time of need is most meaningful to me. Whether that be as a listening ear during tough times, or for light chat and simple company, feeling like I am making a difference is what I love most about my role. I learn something new with each experience.”

Sandro Mangino is a healthcare assistant on the Urology Ward at Southmead Hospital who will also be attending the Westminster Abbey service. He said:

“It is an honour as a healthcare assistant to be one of the few selected to represent NBT at this amazing milestone in the NHS.”

Janette Midda, an emergency planning Manager with the NHS Integrated Care Board has worked for the NHS for 42 years and will also be attending the Westminster Abbey event. She said:

“I was nominated by colleagues to attend this event and feel very honoured to be representing our NHS across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. We’ve achieved so much in health and care for our local communities, so I am delighted this is being recognised and to be attending the national celebration at Westminster Abbey.”

The service will see over 1,500 NHS staff and volunteers, political leaders, health leaders and celebrities in attendance. The service will begin with a procession led by Associate Chief Nurse May Parson who will process into the Abbey with the St George Cross.