An Ode To NHS Heroes On National Heroes Day

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 29 Dec 2020 10:08
An Ode To NHS Heroes On National Heroes DayPA Images

With today, December 29, marking National Heroes Day, we at UNILAD want to give people the chance to applaud those in the NHS who have helped keep the UK afloat during the ongoing health crisis.

The NHS was first introduced in 1948 and we often take advantage of how lucky we are to have a free healthcare system and to know that in our time of need we’ll be properly taken care of without the worry of having to pay a small fortune.


But our healthcare system wouldn’t be able to run the way it does without its thousands upon thousands of devoted members of staff. From receptionists and doctors, to physiotherapists and cleaners – they all play a huge part in keeping the NHS successfully going.

PA Images

While we all stood on our doorsteps at 8pm every Thursday for several weeks throughout the summer, UNILAD wanted to give people the chance to nominate their family and friends who they see as an NHS hero.

Ahmed Shahrabani, 29


Nominated by his sister Deena Shahrabani, Ahmed is a locum doctor who is working in COVID wards. In addition to this, Ahmed created an app that works with the NHS which matches vacant shifts to doctors – something which has proven extremely useful throughout the pandemic.

Speaking about why she’s nominated her brother, Deena said:

Ahmed is the founder of a healthcare start-up, Locum’s Nest, which directly matches doctors to fill critical shifts at NHS trusts, which has saved the NHS hundreds of thousands of pounds since its inception by removing agency fees.

Since the onset of the pandemic, Ahmed has made his platform available for free to all Trusts to benefit from. This meant that more shifts were being filled at this increasingly busy period and more patients were being treated on time.

She continued, ‘Not only that, but Ahmed has dedicated his weekends to taking on shifts at COVID wards despite having a history of asthma and being part of the demographic more susceptible to being infected from the virus. He’s a Medic. A healthcare start-up founder. And a great human being.’


Lucy Wallett, 28

Lucy, is a medical officer in the Navy and currently working in A&E at Good Hope Hospital, Birmingham. She was nominated by her sister Sophie who describes Lucy as the ‘happiest and most positive person [she] knows’.

Writing why her older sister deserved the nomination, Sophie said:


[Lucy has] worked insane hours under outrageous stresses to help save the lives of hundreds of people from this awful pandemic. She is the happiest and most positive person I know who has put on the bravest face to her patients throughout all of this despite all of the awful things she has seen and dealt with.

Sophie went on to explain, ‘She was living partly with our parents when the pandemic began so she was forced to move out because our dad has been shielded after recently finishing cancer treatment, so she has carried on without the support of her family. She is the most inspirational person I know.’


Emily Glover, 23


Emily is a nurse at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and was nominated by her close friend Alex Evans. Emily only graduated from her nursing degree at Manchester University in December 2019, just a few months before the pandemic badly hit the UK.

Alex said of her friend:

Since graduating, Emily has put her life and soul into her occupation to help others throughout COVID-19 and support the NHS and her colleagues through these difficult times.

I believe Emily’s hard work and commitment completely and utterly deserves recognition and appreciation! Me and all the girls are extremely proud of you Em, keep up the hard work!


Ceri Lynch, 43


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Ceri is a Consultant in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care at Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Wales and has been working on the ‘front line’ in the fight against COVID. She was nominated by her neighbour and friend Elizabeth Rees who explained how much Ceri has sacrificed during the pandemic, including hugging her own children, and that she is ‘in awe’ of her friend.

Elizabeth explained:

Ceri has sacrificed so much in her personal life to help save lives. I’m in complete awe of her and her enduring strength to work long shifts in the thick of this pandemic and want her to know that I see the brilliant work and personal sacrifices she’s has made this year.

She added, ‘On behalf of South Wales, I want to thank Ceri for all that she is doing.’


Sharon Richardson, 50

Sharon is a community nurse and was nominated by her daughter Katie. Katie said her mum would ‘probably hate [her] for nominating her because she doesn’t do her job for recognition.’

She continued:

I just want her to know how proud I am of her and how I admire her for being able to put her own anxieties about the pandemic aside and to still go out into the community every day caring for her patients.

Katie went on to say how ‘amazing’ she finds Sharon. Hopefully her nice comments will keep her out of trouble for nominating her hardworking mum!


Courtney Hughes, 22

Working as a senior nursing assistant in gynaecology at The John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, 22-year-old Courtney was nominated by journalist Rachel Tompkins who has previously written about Courtney’s charity work.

Calling Courtney ‘absolutely amazing’, Rachel said of the young woman:

Courtney has a health condition of her own but still works for the NHS and on top of that spends all of her spare time on her Secret Santa charity which gives gifts to elderly and vulnerable people in the Didcot area.

Courtney runs the Secret Santa charity fulltime alongside her NHS job and adapted the charity’s work to be COVID-safe.


The UK wouldn’t cope without the hard work and determination of these people and many, many more. So, from everyone one at UNILAD and the rest of the country, thank you to everyone in the NHS and the country’s other care workers, too.

It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Featured, family, Friends, NHS, Now, Pandemic