Coronavirus: Teachers say a special ‘thank you’ to NHS heroes

Teachers have joined the hundreds of thousands of people volunteering to help the NHS to say “thank you” to “incredible” hospital staff whose care has transformed their own lives.

The Royal Voluntary Service last week appealed for 250,000 volunteers to help with the NHS coronavirus response.

The target was reached within 24 hours, and at 750,000, the service has now paused recruitment in order to process applications.

Two teachers at Wykham Park Academy in Banbury, Oxfordshire, part of the Aspirations Academies Trust, will deliver food and medicines, as well as drive patients to and from appointments..

Stacey Walsh, part of the school’s senior leadership team, was hospitalised as a child for a lung infection and described the NHS staff who helped fix the problem as “incredible”.

The 30-year-old said: “I have an active and fit lifestyle and it’s all thanks to my hospital treatment. My life could have been very different and I don’t ever forget that.

‘’We are key workers and are still being paid. Teachers are working on a rota, but we have time and I wanted to put the time I have to good use.”

Meanwhile, Maria Martin, an art teacher, is helping in dedication to her twin sister Tania Shankland, who received almost £1 milllion of treatment after being left paralysed from her armpits down after a horse-riding accident four years ago.

Kayleigh Trainor, assistant head at Forest Hall School in Stansted, Essex, had a mini-stroke aged 27 and is also volunteering. The 31-year-old said: “The treatment I got was amazing from the NHS staff. Having friends who are A&E nurses, and midwives also, gives me an insight into how tough a day can be, so volunteering during a pandemic is my way of saying thank you. It’s the least I can do.”