Pilots and crew from several UK airlines are providing staff at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust a first class lounge and service including teas, coffees and light snacks to help teams de-stress at work.
The Project Wingman lounge has been set up in the STRIVE Academic Centre common room at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough to support staff during COVID-19.
It offers a safe space for staff to talk to someone about their experiences, relax over a tea or coffee or just have some time away from the work environment before, during and after hospital shifts – all in a lounge setting similar to those enjoyed by first-class passengers at airports.
The lounge is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday and from 10am to 2pm on Saturdays.
The lounge is part of Project Wingman – a UK wide initiative spearheaded by pilots in command, David Fielding and Emma Henderson.
Project Wingman has been set up to support NHS staff during and after the COVID-19 response. It brings together crews from every UK airline, who have been furloughed, grounded or made redundant due to the pandemic.
Jennie Winnard, director of education and organisational development at the trust said: “We are thrilled to welcome this fantastic initiative to the trust. We would like to say a huge thank you to all the Project Wingman volunteers for giving up their time to help support the wellbeing of our hard-working staff when they need it most.”
“We would like to encourage everyone working at the hospital to take advantage of this opportunity.”
Emma Henderson, co-founder of Project Wingman, added: “As many of our pilots and cabin crew are currently grounded or on reduced duties due to coronavirus, we wanted to focus our efforts on giving back to the NHS heroes who are working tirelessly during this pandemic.”
“We’re so pleased to be able to offer the Project Wingman service for South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. It’s very rewarding to see that the relaxing space is making a difference to the hard-working teams.”