Staff across the Royal Free London have been receiving RFL Hero pins as a token of appreciation for everything they have done in tackling the enormous challenge of COVID-19.

RFL employees were surprised by thank you cards and RFL Hero pin badges sent directly to their homes. The badges have been designed to commemorate the months of hard work delivered in response to COVID-19, and were accompanied by a thank you message that recognised both the dedication of staff and the vital support from families and loved ones.

This special gesture was made possible thanks to the Royal Free Charity, whose supporters and donors rose to the challenge and helped fund innovative projects that supported the wellbeing of staff across the trust throughout the pandemic.

Writing in the cards Dominic Dodd, chair of the Royal Free London and Judy Dewinter, chair of the Royal Free Charity said: “We are so grateful to all of our staff, and to the families and loved ones whose kindness and generosity have kept us going. Your response has shown exactly what it is that makes the Royal Free London community so special.”

One member of staff to receive a pin was head of research nursing Helen Jones. She said: "It was amazing to get home and find one of these badges waiting for me. The past few months have been exceptionally busy for our team of research nurses and delivery staff, supporting the hospital in getting through COVID-19.

“The importance of research within the current pandemic cannot be underestimated. At the beginning we were dealing with a virus with no known treatments but thanks to research teams like ours we now have approved treatments and the research studies continue. So it means a lot to all of us to have received this thank you from the trust and the Royal Free Charity."

Radiology department assistant Mandy Matthews was also delighted to receive her thank you gift. She said: “I was very happy to receive my badge and be recognised for my work during COVID-19. I usually work as a radiology department assistant, but was redeployed to the in-patient pharmacy during the pandemic.

“It was a very busy time doing a new role, and I was grateful to the team for giving me so much support – and to all my colleagues across the hospital who kept each other safe. It makes me feel very much appreciated and I will be wearing my badge with pride. A big salute to the Royal Free Charity for providing these.”