Unsung Heroes

Kent Life|June 2020

Unsung Heroes
Meet the local NHS staff and community heroes who are going above and beyond during the Coronavirus pandemic and putting themselves on the front line to save lives
Holly Louise Eells

THE NURSE

There is a new breed of superhero working around the clock in Kent to support their community and country during the coronavirus pandemic, risking their lives to help others.

One such hero is nurse Debbie Peters from Sidcup. She has been in the healthcare industry for more than 20 years and usually works on the gastroenterology ward at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Woolwich. But now, she is helping look after suspected and confirmed coronavirus patients.

“I have always admired nurses and the hard work they do to make a difference in someone’s life,” says Debbie. “I decided to do my nurse’s training as a mature student as I previously worked in admin, but I knew it was not what I really wanted to do.”

Debbie (who didn’t want to be photographed) is among the thousands of NHS and care staff risking their lives to protect us.

“I find the job very demanding but it also gives me a lot of job satisfaction knowing that I am directly helping to sometimes save people’s lives.

“However, it can be very frustrating at the moment when I see and hear of people not adhering to Government guidelines, which can cause extra strain on the already overstretched NHS,” says Debbie.

Frontline workers have never received the recognition they deserve for all the vital work they do, and now they have to make even bigger sacrifices.

“I would hope that people have learned now to respect each other more and appreciate the work that all the NHS staff and other workers have done,” she adds.

“This includes supermarket employees, delivery drivers and all the other key personnel who have kept the country going through these very difficult times.”

Debbie also tells me that her local community in Sidcup has been really supportive during this difficult, stressful time.

“The reception we are receiving from the general public is extremely moving especially with the clapping on a Thursday night,” explains Debbie.

“We have had good support from the community, which included receiving face shields from Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School Parents’ Association.”

WASTE AND RECYCLING CREW

Sasha Walton, a Waste and Recycling Team Crew Member in Tunbridge Wells is also grateful for the unaccustomed support.

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June 2020