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London’s ambulance service
Photograph: Michael Tubi / Shutterstock

Letters for the NHS helps people thank frontline staff directly

A new project brings a personal touch to celebrating medical key workers

By
Chris Waywell
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The Thursday night Clap for Our Carers has become a weekly fixture on our calendars. People are speculating that it might continue after the current crisis is past, such is the gratitude in the UK and other countries to the medical staff in the trenches. But however heartfelt it is, it remains generalised – a ‘thank you, NHS’ rather than a way of expressing our feelings to individuals. Now one Londoner has come up with a way of bringing a personal touch to saying thank you.

Letters for the NHS is the brainchild of 19-year-old Soumya Krishna Kumar. She was looking for a way to connect the people who wanted to express their thanks with the medical workers who deserve them. Her answer was one of the most fundamental forms of communication in human history: the letter. Seems obvious, but what if you don’t happen to know any health workers to write to? Simple. Volunteer to write a letter to an NHS staffer, and it will be sent to one nominated by someone else.

Even if you haven’t been treated by the healthcare system, you can write a letter recognising its employees’ dedication and sacrifice, while another person who wants to say thank you to a particular nurse, doctor or carer can nominate them via Letters for the NHS and they will receive your letter or one like it. Here’s one of the letters from the initiative: 

Letters for the NHS
Letters for the NHS | A letter from the initiative

Up to now, the scheme has seen more than 150 people volunteer to write a thank-you letter, and is working with 20 NHS trusts. It’s a brilliantly simple idea and one which brings individuals that little bit closer together in this time of shared suffering and shared gratitude. So, if you want to get something off your chest, in a good way for a change, here’s your chance.

To volunteer to write a letter, or nominate an NHS worker to say thank you to, visit The Crisis Project website.

Find other ways to help and get help in London right now.

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