Lancaster man's idea to honour pandemic heroes across district
A Lancaster man has come up with a unique idea to honour those who have risked their lives to help others through the Covid-19 pandemic.
Former consultant medical microbiologist Dr Stephen Dealler wants to present hundreds of people across the district with a medal in recognition of their efforts throughout the past 18 months.
This could be key workers such as nurses, ambulance staff, other medical staff, and others such as supermarket staff, bus drivers and food bank volunteers, as well as those that were dealing with potentially infectious material such as sewage workers, laboratory workers and nursing home staff, and people that could not avoid a major risk, such as prison officers.
Dr Dealler said: "The idea came about when I was seeing how the nurses were looking after my mother in a nursing home and felt that they deserved medals...and then realised that lots of others should have them as well.
"I found a group of people that felt that this was worthwhile, and after simply talking to community people it became more clear. It was the people and businesses in the community that felt the most, and not the national businesses or government.
"Many people in Lancaster put their own lives at risk during the pandemic to help others. People from nurses, care homes, food banks, ambulance drivers, supermarket checkouts and many more.
"A lot of people in Lancaster want to show our appreciation of this.
"We know from local nurses just how much the people clapping in the street made them push on, but now it is heading for the time that key people need something to keep.
"Many groups, like the council itself and NHS, really do go out of their way to thank their staff...but it is the feelings of these staff that are helping people through the pandemic that matter most."
A medal has been design locally and Dr Dealler said it is hoped they will be handed out at a presentation next month.
"As far as I know this is the only one in the UK; other places may be giving out paper documents thanking people," he said.
The medals and badges will cost up to £3,000 and Dr Dealler is hoping local businesses will get involved with sponsorship.
Charity sponsorship is also available to Lancaster Green Spaces through Cumberland (sort code 16-52-21, account 54261749) - put ‘medals’ in the section asking for the relevance of the payment.
This is charity number 1046701 and you will get a receipt or an automatic receipt if paid by card through the website.
For more information about the awards or how you can get involved, go online here.