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NHS’ 70th birthday toasted with cuppa at Northumbria

Wednesday, 11 July, 2018
NHS’ 70th birthday toasted with cuppa at Northumbria

The 70th birthday of the NHS has been toasted with a cuppa at a series of 1940s-themed tea dances at hospitals across Northumberland and North Tyneside.

Dance groups involving hundreds of young people performed for patients, staff and invited guests at The Northumbria hospital, Wansbeck, Hexham and North Tyneside general hospitals and community hospitals at Alnwick, Berwick and Blyth.

The tea dances were part of events at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to mark the special occasion and pay tribute to staff and patients who have contributed to the health service since its inception on 5 July 1948.

The celebrations have also seen birthday cakes for patients, flags, bunting and balloons for wards, a service of thanksgiving at Hexham Abbey and a private dedication at St Aidan’s Church, Thockrington, where Lord Beveridge, the founder of the NHS, is buried.

Brenda Longstaff, head of charity development and volunteering at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Holding a tea party is such a quintessential British thing to do and what better way to celebrate 70 years of the NHS than with a cuppa.

“Our tea parties have been a huge success and been greatly enjoyed by all – particularly by our patients who have benefitted from being part of our celebrations and from spending time away from the ward environment.

“I’d like to thank the seven local dance groups for the many hours they have practised to be able to do these memorable performances. All of the dancers – some as young as two years old – were truly excellent and put on a great show.”

“Holding events like these make such a difference to our patients and we’re delighted to have been able to incorporate them into our celebrations to mark this special milestone.”

Staff at Northumbria Healthcare wore blue on 5 July to mark the birthday and representatives joined around 3,000 NHS employees from across the country at national services at Westminster Abbey and York Minster.