Trust celebrates first ever Gratitude Festival to thank staff

This week marks the start of Imperial College Healthcare’s first ever Gratitude Festival – a week-long celebration dedicated to thanking all our 14,000 staff. The launch of the festival also coincided with the 73rd birthday of the NHS.

The festival, supported by Imperial Health Charity, will take place from 5 to 9 July and will see a special week of events and activities in recognition of the incredible commitment and hard work of our staff, especially during our response to Covid-19.

Staff can look forward to food trucks - with three different types of cuisines - at each hospital site offering a free breakfast or lunch. There will also be a number of different virtual events including a spa evening, Persian cooking class, panel debates and dance and exercise. An all-staff quiz and our first staff talent show – Imperial's Got Talent! – will also be part of the line-up, along with some surprise celebrity guests. Art workshops and free bike servicing will also be taking place on site and staff will be able to access a number of new discounts on activities and attractions.

Professor Tim Orchard, chief executive, said:

"Our staff have shown such resilience and dedication in responding to Covid-19. They have kept our patients safe, adapted to the changing demands of the pandemic, and worked hard to restart services. I hope our staff enjoy the range of activities that are on offer this week as a gesture of our gratitude for everything they have done, and continue to do. I would also like to thank Imperial Health Charity and our fantastic volunteers for all of their support for our staff and hospitals, especially during this past 18 months.”

Practical and wellbeing support for our staff has been one of the most important changes to come out of the pandemic. Our appreciation response started with offering every member of staff reset and recovery days. This includes a day in addition to annual leave where staff can focus on their own wellbeing, and another day off for their birthday.

In September last year we announced our £1.7 million staff support and wellbeing programme for staff. With the help of Imperial Health Charity, we have been working to embed improvements that will have lasting benefit for our staff – and for our patients - which include improvements to hundreds of staff facilities, better on-site food and shops provision and enhanced staff counselling and mental health support.

Ian Lush OBE, chief executive of Imperial Health Charity, said:

“During this incredibly challenging period, the remarkable resolve and commitment to outstanding care shown by hospital staff and volunteers has been an inspiration to us all, and as the Trust’s dedicated NHS charity, we’ve been proud to help our hospitals every step of the way. As we mark the 73rd birthday of the NHS, we’re delighted to continue supporting staff with this exciting week of celebrations. On behalf of everyone at Imperial Health Charity, I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to all our hospital heroes for their enormous efforts during the pandemic.”