‘Thank you NHS – & all key workers’.
This message is one we can all stand behind. And it is now written in big letters at York Hospital, complete with hearts.
Two banners saying precisely this were put up outside the hospital overnight earlier this week. And they’ve already made a difference – Donna Williams, who works at the hospital, wrote on Twitter: “A lovely man has just put this banner up outside work.”
And another York frontline NHS worker said: “I saw that today and it made me smile when I left. It’s lovely knowing people are supporting us thru the hard times.”
The lovely man who put up the banner was Ian Dawson, who runs Signs Express York with his wife Louise.
“We all feel like we want to do something to help, and we have no skill in helping – other than we can make signs and banners,” Louise told YorkMix.
“And it just felt nice to be able to say thank you to the people who are looking after us.”
Making people smile
She said the idea was partly inspired by the ‘clap for the NHS’ initiative last week.
“It made me think a little bit more about how grateful we are – and what could we do to help in a small way?
“Even it was just putting smiles on people’s faces, we can let them know that we were thankful – and that was what we thought we would do.”
They made two banners which Ian put up in front of the hospital and on Wigginton Road outside it. Louise said:
It was a little bit cloak and dagger! I sent my husband out there to do it.
I’ve got a few friends that are doctors that have gone on the frontline, working in the hospital now – GPs and a consultant.
They’re our friends but we haven’t seen them for a while.
We just wanted to say thank you.
Louise described how we’re living in a parallel universe – most of us in this newly quiet city, while “what’s going on at the hospital at the moment is just another world – and I can’t imagine what that must be like”.
Louise and Ian have run Signs Express York since 2012 and describe it as very much a family business, which works with a lot of city organisations including the NHS.
They have temporarily closed their production centre in Osbaldwick to keep all their team safe.