In celebrating 72 years since the birth of the NHS and the Social Care system, Sheffield City Council would like to thank workers and the people of Sheffield for keeping us all safe and well during the Coronavirus crisis.

Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “We want to thank local NHS staff, but also everyone in the local community who has continued to show steel spirit by doing their bit during life in lockdown.

“It’s a chance for us to show appreciation to everyone who has helped to keep us safe during this time – from nurses, social workers, shop workers, doctors to bus drivers – all key workers have helped to keep our city and citizens safe and have really kept us going in the face of this pandemic.

“This weekend as we turn our Town Hall blue in joining the national lighting up of key monuments, we want to recognise all NHS and Social Care staff and reflect on everything our communities have endured over the last 72 years, but especially more recently.  Together we stand in solidarity to mourn those we have lost and to thank those who are risking so much to keep us safe.

“It is also a thank you to our neighbours, our family and our friends as well as the community support helpline run in partnership with voluntary organisations throughout the city. From those who are collecting shopping and prescriptions for those most vulnerable to those who are simply staying at home and help save lives. We are all doing our bit and we should collectively be extremely proud of the part we are playing during this difficult time.”

Cabinet member for Health and Social Care at Sheffield City Council George Lindars-Hammond, said: “As we celebrate 72 years of the NHS, I’m also keen that we recognise the huge contribution of social care over those 72 years in supporting people in Sheffield to stay independent, safe and well.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the dedication, care and love that characterises our health and social care workforce. I’d like to say thank you to everyone working in the NHS and in social care in Sheffield for the commitment and compassion you’ve shown during this crisis. And I’d like to extend my thanks to each and every Sheffield citizen. The last few months have shown just how much we all need each other, and the amazing community response in our city has demonstrated just how much we care about one another.

“So, as well as celebrating the NHS and social care this weekend, let’s recognise the part we all play in care and caring, and acknowledge the impact of this pandemic on all our lives. Whether you’re helping family members, friends or neighbours, or adapting your business or your working arrangements to help keep people safe, or just following the guidance on washing your hands and staying at home where possible, you are each doing your bit.

“While we acknowledge the devastation this pandemic has brought, and remember all the lives that have been lost or changed forever, let’s also look forward to a kinder, more connected, more caring future.”

Director of Public Health at Sheffield City Council Greg Fell said: “I would like to wish the NHS and Social Care a very happy 72nd birthday. I cannot imagine a place without the amazing support in place, especially now. As a reminder at this time, we need to remember that we may have passed the first wave of infections of Covid-19 but the virus is still far from over. We now have to learn to live with it. It is important that we don’t change our behaviour during this time and to stay alert if we are to prevent transmission, it is preventable if simple guidance is observed. We cannot live in lockdown forever, but we will all need to remain vigilant for a long time to come to avoid an increase in cases, so it is still important that we all take the existence of Covid-19 seriously.

“So please, join us in celebrating the birthday of the NHS and Social Care over the weekend by taking part in lighting a candle at home to remember those who have lost their lives, clap for carers and key workers and enjoy your weekend, safely.”

Angela Grocock and Rosie Shaw, workers at Northern General Hospital

Kirsten Major, Chief Executive at Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “As we celebrate the NHS’s birthday in our most challenging year, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the key workers who have made it possible for us to continue to do our job.

“The teachers who have been brilliant with our children, the shop workers who have enabled us to get our food shopping, all the delivery drivers who have brought essential supplies and equipment and absolutely every other key worker who has been working hard throughout this pandemic.

“Your support has been incredible and this weekend you deserve all the recognition. Thank you from all of us.”

Joan Pons Laplana, a worker at Hallamshire Hospital

What’s happening over the weekend and how you can join in at home:

  • As part of the NHS anniversary weekend national landmarks will be ‘lit up blue’ – including the Town Hall and Winter Gardens from 8pm on Sunday.
  • There will also be a minute’s silence at 8pm on Saturday 4 July to remember the tens of thousands of victims of coronavirus.
  • At the same time people will be encouraged to light candles in their windows in remembrance over the weekend.
  • Join in the return of the clap for carers when people will be encouraged to applaud the heroes of the pandemic with family and friends on Sunday 5 July at 5pm.

Want to know more about Sheffield History of the NHS and Social Care from 1948 to present day?

Sheffield Libraries Archives have some great resources for you and your family to read with a historical hospitals guide here

For a visual history of Sheffield hospitals, you may like to look at Pictures Sheffield who have been working with Sheffield Hospitals History Group based at Northern General here

If you would like to know more or to take part in the Sheffield Libraries Collecting Covid project please read their blog here