Over 2,000 Bedfordshire nurses celebrated for dedicating their lives to looking after others

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Nurses at the Rapid Relief Team UK (RRT) appreciation lunches at Bedford Hospital and Luton and Dunstable University Hospital for International Nurses Day. Image: RRT
Nurses at the Rapid Relief Team UK (RRT) appreciation lunches at Bedford Hospital and Luton and Dunstable University Hospital for International Nurses Day. Image: RRT

The Rapid Relief Team UK (RRT) charity has served 2,100 meals to nurses at Bedford Hospital and Luton and Dunstable University Hospital during ‘appreciation lunches’ to say “thank you” for dedicating their lives to looking after others.

60 volunteers from the RRT set up tents at the two hospitals and served the charity’s signature hot meals, alongside refreshments, as part of International Nurses Day on 12 May (Sunday)

The RRT’s appreciation lunch was accompanied by internal initiatives organised at the Hospitals, with wards being decorated in honour of the nurses, and cake and gifts handed out in a show of appreciation for their hard work.

Marj, a nurse at Bedford Hospital with over 45 years of experience, said that her favourite part about being a nurse is “looking after everybody who is not able to look after themselves”.

“I think if you have the heart to look after anybody it’s the best profession you can join.”

The RRT, which is made up of volunteers from the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, puts compassion into action by offering practical support to charities, emergency services and other organisations on the frontline.

Harry Purdom, RRT Luton Local Team Leader, said: “It was fantastic being out here in Bedford saying a massive thank you to all the incredible nurses who work tirelessly every day to ensure the wellbeing of our communities.

“In our lives, we have all benefited from the care and compassion of nurses, and International Nurses Day is a great opportunity for all of us to recognise and celebrate their work.

“What made this initiative even more special was that it was replicated by RRT volunteers across the world in a truly global event. At the RRT, we believe in strong communities and nurses are the backbone of our healthcare services.

“Thank you again for everything you do for us.”

Helen Oaks, Head of Nursing for Medicine and Elderly Care at Bedford Hospitals, added, “Nurses are amazing and truly inspirational. My team provides superb patient care, and they inspire me every day to be more caring and effective.

“I couldn’t do my job without the team of fantastic nurses around me. Throughout the week, we have celebrated our nurses, and we want to thank the RRT for their generosity.

“Their volunteers were on-site at both of our hospitals serving us a fantastic barbeque, which we were very grateful for.”