Staff at Walsall Manor Hospital will be encouraged to sit back and relax while airline staff help them to recharge thanks to a project which took off today.
Airline crew currently furloughed or made redundant have set up Project Wingman, now a registered charity, to run in hospitals throughout the country. They create a first class lounge environment to serve food and drink to NHS staff who have been working flat out during the Covid -19 pandemic.
Catherine Griffiths, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Executive Director for People and Culture, said: “The pandemic has created an extremely challenging working environment for our staff who have done extra shifts, taken on additional roles, volunteered to support colleagues in other areas and sacrificed time with their own families to help our organisation at this challenging time..
“Their commitment and dedication has been humbling and we know that working at this pace, in these circumstances, takes its toll on their own health and wellbeing. We had set up a Haven room where staff could take themselves out of their hectic workspace and have a few minutes’ of peace and reflection as well as access mental health support and mindfulness sessions but Project Wingman takes this a step further.
“The airline volunteers will actually wait on our staff, getting them a drink and something to eat, and encourage them to relax and recharge. While the pandemic has undoubtedly helped to sharpen the trust’s focus on staff welfare we had already identified a need to continue to offer support beyond this period and are excited to be working with Project Wingman to deliver this service.”
Michelle Jordan is one of the airline crew involved. She said: “We are really excited about this partnership with Walsall Healthcare. It has worked well at other trusts and we have been overwhelmed by the gratitude of staff when our motivation was to show them gratitude for everything they’ve been doing.”