Publish date: 12 July 2021

On Thursday 8th July, staff and supporters of Warrington & Halton Teaching Hospitals gathered at the Pickering Arms at Thelwall for a delightful afternoon of tea and cakes in celebration of the NHS’ 73rd birthday.

The event was officially opened by the Mayor of Warrington, Cllr Maureen Creaghan, while the hospital’s Chairman, Steve McGuirk, and MP for Warrington South, Andy Carter, kicked off the festivities with speeches thanking everyone for their continued support.

The traditional afternoon tea included classic finger sandwiches, cakes, scones and plenty of English tea. There was also a bottle tombola and two separate raffles where attendees had the chance to win a number of fabulous prizes.

Helen Higginson, Fundraising Manager of Warrington & Halton Hospitals’ Charity, said: “Many thanks to all who supported the Pickering Arms event in celebration of our NHS’ 73rd birthday – an event that was not just an Afternoon Tea Party, but for many of the people attending, it was a chance to reconnect with friends and colleagues, making it an extra special event for all involved.” 

Despite a limited capacity, the event managed to raise over £1000 in total, with all proceeds going directly towards the recovery of staff and patients in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Helen also explicitly expressed her gratitude to the Pickering Arms for their generosity in hosting the event: “A huge thank you goes out to Jim and Christine of the Pickering Arms, who, with the support of their hard working and very professional staff, delivered this wonderful event.”

The afternoon tea followed the national ‘NHS Big Tea’ event on Monday 5th July, organised by NHS Charities Together, which saw people from around the country ‘raising a cuppa’ to thank our NHS heroes for their tireless work helping everyone get through the pandemic.

People in the community were encouraged to organise their own ‘Big Tea’ parties and raise funds for their local hospitals, whether in person or virtually, or just take a 5-minute tea break and make a donation.

Numerous departments and wards across the Trust held their own tea parties, which brought endless smiles to patients’ faces, many of whom have had limited contact with their loved ones due to the pandemic.

In the community, Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Warrington led the way in their ‘Big Tea’ celebrations, creating colourful signs with messages such as ‘Happy Birthday and Thank You to our NHS’ and heading out onto the school field to dance to music and play games. Hope Academy and Bridgewater High School also got involved in the celebrations by sharing their messages of thanks and hosting an inset day event for staff members.