South Tees Hospitals Charity has teamed up with local artist Mackenzie Thorpe and volunteer-run UK recognition campaign Pin Your Thanks to present a bespoke pin badge to every member of staff across its hospitals and healthcare services.
The Pin Your Thanks People’s Medal will be awarded to all South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust staff from today (Monday 8 February), including those working for Serco and NHS Professionals, in recognition of their unfailing dedication, hard work and support for patients, service users and each other during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Born in Middlesbrough, Mackenzie is an artist who has been hailed as “a global art phenomenon”. Some familiar collectors of his work are actor Tom Hardy, author JK Rowling and Queen Elizabeth II to name a few. Mackenzie has also undertaken many prestigious commissions for clients such as The Andre Agassi Foundation, the Elton John Aids Foundation, Princess Anne and William Hague.
Mackenzie has kindly given his time free of charge to create the special piece of art – his way of saying thank you for everything local healthcare teams have done during this amazingly challenging time.
He said: “South Tees Hospitals really are the beating heart of our community, caring for us and our loved ones in times of need and never more so than during this last year.
“Like all of us I stand in the shadow of their greatness and will be forever in their debt, so I was honoured to be asked to be involved in the design of this pin and help, in a small way, to show my deepest gratitude to all.”
The badge design is based on Mackenzie’s ‘Duffle Coat Child’.
Ben Murphy, head of South Tees Hospitals Charity said: “We are issuing these badges on behalf of everyone at the trust, our patients and the local community to offer a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of our staff for all their amazing efforts during the pandemic.”
The badges, produced in partnership with pinyourthanks.org (a purely volunteer organisation) and ookagency.co.uk (a socially responsible creative agency), have been funded using donations from people who wanted to acknowledge and thank the people working in the NHS as a way of supporting their wellbeing.
Helen Day, deputy chief nurse added: “What an amazing way to say thank you to all our fantastic staff who have constantly been going above and beyond to help our patients, whilst facing some of the toughest challenges under the most difficult of circumstances. I’m sure staff will look at this badge in years to come and feel extremely proud of what they helped achieve.”
“We also want to say an enormous thank you – to everyone in the community for the invaluable support they continue to show by following the rules despite the disruption to their own lives at this time.”
Mackenzie’s design will be also available for members of the public to buy to give to their own pandemic heroes from pinyourthanks.org
Mackenzie’s video messages to all staff at South Tees Hospitals