St Paul’s Wokingham provide local NHS staff with practical and spiritual support

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Examples of donated food

As a congregation, St Paul’s Wokingham have been praying regularly for the staff at their local hospital, the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH), but wanted to do more. So, their vicar Revd Richard Lamey and his team put out a call to see what more could be done to support the incredible efforts of their local NHS staff.

As it happened, two members of St Paul’s congregation were RBH staff and were able to provide real insight into what would make their colleagues’ working days a little brighter. The first, much more practical solution was to donate high-quality food and drink, such as squash and individually wrapped cakes and biscuits, as this would help to lift the spirits and energy levels of staff during their long shifts.

The second suggestion was a much more personal one. It was the idea of keeping the NHS staff in the congregation’s thoughts; as the RBH staff member said, “Just knowing we are being thought about would be brilliant – notes and cards would be a real boon in the darkest moments.”

A thank you card to RBH staff from a local school child

So, the community around St Paul’s, including some of the local schools, rallied round and very quickly notes and letters began appearing for the staff at RBH. Some were emailed directly to the RBH Chaplaincy, whilst others were delivered to St Paul’s, where they were quarantined and then passed onto the hospital.

Whilst it is still early days, about 50 notes have been delivered and £220 worth (the equivalent of 12 Bags for Life) of refreshments have been donated by the community, which have been shared around at least eight different wards, including ICU and Elderly Care.

And it seems that their efforts have been much appreciated, with one matron writing in a thank you note,

“I am a matron in surgery at the RBH. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to your church for their very thoughtful and generous donations. They have been distributed to frontline clinical areas within the hospital and staff have been so touched by this kind gesture. It is so nice of you all to think of us. Hoping that you are all keeping safe and are looking forward to brighter days ahead. Many thanks.”

If you are local to the RBH and would like to help, please email Revd Richard Lamey. For more information, visit the St Paul’s website.

Read more of the story on Wokingham Today.