It’s a Knockout challenge to celebrate NHS birthday

Release Date: 08/07/2019

It’s a Knockout challenge to celebrate NHS birthday

Staff at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital celebrated the 71st birthday of the NHS in style – with an adaptation of 70s game show ‘It’s a Knockout’ organised by the League of Friends.

Celebrating the birthday of the NHS has become a highlight in the calendar at RJAH over the last couple of years and this year was no exception.

The NHS was founded on 5th July 1948 by Aneurin Bevan, the then Minister of Health, with the idea that good healthcare should be accessible to all regardless of wealth.

The main entrance at the Oswestry-based hospital was transformed into the venue for It’s a Knockout, where five teams of two members of staff of staff took part – as well as former Great British Bake Off star Diana Beard.

Staff competing in the games included Booking Clerk Larissa McElroy, Fundraising Manager Helen Knight, Recovery Nurse Linda Hart, Research Project Manager Sarah Turner and Porter Pete Bright.

Chief Executive Mark Brandreth, Consultant Anaesthetist Dr James Neil, Rehabilitation Technician Kate Betts, and Project Managers Hayley Derbyshire and Louis McDonald also took part in the games with Louis attempting to defend his title of reigning champion after winning last year’s Generation Game alongside Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries Consultant Mr Naveen Kumar.

The teams were required to complete an obstacle course in five minutes which was made up of a fancy dress station, face paint challenge and cake decorating.

Former Great British Bake Off contestant Diana Beard, from Alkington near Whitchurch, demonstrated how teams must decorate their cake whilst League of Friends volunteer Maddy Sugden was the model for how staff must paint their faces.

Victoria Sugden, Charity Director for the League of Friends, said: “It’s a Knockout was a fantastic event with our competing members of staff really getting involved in the challenge – it was great to see how competitive everyone was.

“I’d like to thank the Estates and Facilities team at RJAH – they gave us so much support leading up to the event and also on the day.

“It was lovely to feel a real party atmosphere in the main entrance and the staff at RJAH work so hard. It was great to see everyone having fun together whilst honouring the great institution that is the NHS.”

The games were compered by Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Ian Sawers, who is one of Shropshire’s Deputy Lieutenants and Trustee for the League of Friends.

Alongside Diana, Lead Governor Jan Greasley and League of Friends Chairman Peter David judged the cakes and face paint of each team – with Mark Brandreth and Sarah Turner being crowned the winners.

The aim of the event ultimately was to thank staff for their hard work and the contribution they give to the NHS every day.

Mark Brandreth, Chief Executive, said: “Friday was all about celebrating the NHS and what better than some fun for our staff and a spectacle for our patients.

“I’d like to thank our League of Friends for organising the event and also to Diana Beard for coming and helping the Trust celebrate with her wonderful cake decorating game.

“The NHS is something very special and it is quite right that we celebrated its 71st birthday in style.”

Photo caption: RJAH staff who took part in It's a Knockout with former Great British Bake Off star Diana Beard. 

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