Melton Parish Council and invited guests participated in the national commemorations to thank the NHS on their 73rd birthday. On this day, Monday 5th July 2021, Her Majesty the Queen awarded the George Cross to the NHS, a rare event and acknowledgement of the huge contribution of the NHS during the pandemic over the past year. Due to social distancing and the rules on group sizes still in force, we were disappointed that members of the public were unable to join us for any of the events commemorating this occasion.
At 10am, Emma Needs, Volunteer Co-ordinator for the Melton Good Neighbours scheme and one of three winners of the Melton Community Award 2021 raised the NHS rainbow flag for the first time on our brand new flagpole at Melton Playing Fields. We thanked all the NHS staff and frontline workers, including members of the armed services, teachers and carers. Our guests joined us from local schools, GP surgeries and charitable organisations, all wishing to pay tribute. Councillor Bryony Abbott thanked everyone for their support and presented Emma with a bouquet.
Father Paul Hambling led us through the Silence at 11am in a brief and solemn period of reflection for all those who lost their lives during the pandemic. Bugler Steve Smith played the Last Post and then Father Paul asked us to give thanks for the wonderful spirit of co-operation and commitment in Melton, including our Good Neighbours Scheme and all those who kept us safe and provisioned.
Guests, including children from local schools, wrote messages of thanks, some tinged with sadness, describing their experiences over the last year and these will be compiled into an online memory book of Melton during the pandemic.
At 8pm, bells rang out 73 times at both St Andrew’s parish church and Melton Old Church.
Thanks to all the team of organisers for a worthwhile day. Melton really does punch above its weight on these occasions.
NHS Thank You Day photographs courtesy of Charmian Berry
Photos courtesy of Cllr Darby