Yorkshire Wildlife Park holds an open day to say thank to all NHS staff in Doncaster

As a ‘thank you’ for the tremendous effort its staff have made throughout the challenges presented by Covid-19, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) have teamed up with Yorkshire Wildlife Park (YWP) to host an exclusive ‘thank you’ event for NHS heroes.

Saturday, 11th September 2021, 2:51 pm

Richard Parker OBE, Chief Executive of DBTH said: “Over the past 18 months, every single member of Team DBTH has worked tirelessly to adapt to new ways of working which has allowed us to continue to care for patients throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

"A large number of them have also spent a lot of time away from their families and they themselves have had to deal courageously with additional worries and anxieties of having a loved one fighting this disease on the frontline.

“We want to recognise these truly heroic contributions during the pandemic, and we thought the Yorkshire Wildlife Park provided the perfect opportunity for this.

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The animals will be joined by NHS heroes and Olympians

“It is a small gesture, but the least we could do for our amazing team.”

Taking place on September 25, staff at Bassetlaw Hospital, Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Montagu Hospital and Retford Hospital will gain exclusive access to the 175 acre park, with family and loved ones also invited to go along.

This approach of bringing colleagues together, alongside their families and loved ones is supported by mental health experts and is seen as a good way to move past a time of high stress and anxiety.

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The open day is to say thank you

Professor Neil Greenberg, a world-leading expert in trauma at King’s College London who set up the Mental Health staff support strategy at London’s Nightingale Hospital said:

“Hospital trusts should be doing everything they can to provide opportunities for those social bonds to be really strengthened.”

Throughout the pandemic, the Trust received an overwhelming amount of support from residents in Doncaster and Bassetlaw, and many donors made specific requests that their donations be used for the benefit of staff.

Amongst these, DBTH Charity received a number of large sums from businesses and individuals including Premiere League footballer Danny Rose whose contribution will fund a large proportion of the events.

Another large proportion of the funding is attributed to a donation made to the Trust through NHS Charities together after Captain Tom raised £32.8million.

Each member of staff will have access to one free ticket, and can also purchase two more at half-price.

The event has been funded by kind donations given to the Trust during the pandemic, with YWP match-funding, providing half of the allocation of tickets.

The offer is also extended to those who work at the hospitals but are not contracted to the NHS, as well as students and those who do regular bank shifts within the Trust.

YWP CEO John Minion said: “We are delighted to show our support for front line workers after what has been an incredibly tough year for them all.

"We are really proud to host them all at our newly expanded park and will do everything to ensure they have a great day out.”

A number of celebrities will be at the park on the day also to say thank you including Olympic Taekwondo athlete Bradly Sinden who brought home silver for Great Britain at Tokyo 2020, along with European Championship gold-medallist sprinter Lee Thomson and current Scottish record holder for the 200m sprint, and Beth Dobbin.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.