So exactly one month today the National Health Service will celebrate its 70th Anniversary. that’s 70 years of blood tests and bed baths; dental checks and doctors’ notes; hearts transplanted, babies born and lives saved. Since that magnificent Monday in 1948, over 44 million Brits have spent our first moments of life being cared for by NHS staff (I was the 22971350th in case anyone’s interested…but then I always knew I was more than one in a million!) and the other end of life will be a pretty similar experience for the vast majority of us. For these reasons, and so many more, we’re looking forward to thanking and celebrating with the hard-working heroes and heroines of our health services.
Part of our celebrations includes a walk. Not just any walk but a Rhyl – Cardiff slog as we visit NHS workplaces and stay in churches along the way. So the training is well and truly under way (he says, finishing off another Topic bar…other chocolates are available…too available in the church office!). Here’s Bethan and I enjoying a hike in the wonderful Welsh drizzle last week.
It feels like just yesterday that this was all dreamt up, inspired by Michael Sheen’s inspiring speech at the Hay festival last year:
…and now here we are… signs up Tredegar Brass Band booked, primary schools visited, Senedd reception arranged, Tenovus participation confirmed, boots broken in and walk route sorted. Well, mostly! Thanks to all those individuals and groups who are supporting our celebrations or planning events of their own. Let’s make this July a month of merrymaking – a carnival of congratulations – as we walk and worship, party and pray together, saying ‘God Bless the NHS’!
…It’s not too late to show your appreciation by sending a thank you card to your doctor/box of chocolates to a ward; by organizing your own act of thanksgiving; or by joining us as we complete our Rhyl – Cardiff walk. On Tuesday 17th July, we will gather at the Aneurin Bevan statue in Queens Street, Cardiff and will walk down to the Senedd where we will present our cards of thanks and express of appreciation and support for the NHS to Assembly members as the Tenovus Sing For Life Choir Pontypridd belt out a ballad or two. Those wishing to join us on these last 1.7 miles of the walk should congregate near the statue at 11am.