Watford FC washing thousands of scrubs and providing a sanctuary for NHS staff

It’s wash day at Watford FC with a big difference. The kit is for surgeons, not strikers.

The club has laundered 10,000 sets of scrubs for neighbouring Watford General Hospital over the past couple of weeks and they are offering more each day.

From 1,000 hot free meals to hot showers and a safe space away from the wards.

As nurses you feel tied to your patients and you don’t want to go too far away. But if you don’t then you’re not allowing yourself to process everything that you’re seeing. And if you don’t do that you can become burnt out very quickly.

GARY JAMES, Nurse, Watford General Hospital

Watford FC has not furloughed any workers so instead of gearing up for match days they’ve signed up to help 24/7.

Being the original family club goes back to Elton John and Graham Taylor it’s great and when you’re playing football matches you can see that. This is nothing to do with football this is just principles, this is just the full DNA of the football club in action and it’s great to see.

SCOTT DUXBURY, Chairman, Watford Football Club

Ten executive boxes have been turned into makeshift bedrooms and others have been converted for counselling to help people cope with the personal cost of being a professional.

What they’re doing is just their job so when someone turns round and says thank you for what you’re doing it really cuts them to the heart and it really makes them well up! So those rooms are used just for the staff to unload. And sometimes it’s just to come in and say - I just need a break!

ANTHONY CURRAN, Chaplain

People are dying on their own so that is heartbreaking. So yes I have had a few cries here and there. It’s not easy for someone to die on their own. If you’re the last person that’s there for that patient in their last few hours then it’s got to mean something. As nurses we are there to care but we are human beings as well.

THERESA MAUNGANIDZE, Nurse, Watford General Hospital

No where is that more apparent than the makeshift memorial room. Four current and two retired members of staff Watford General have died with Covid-19 along with 258 other patients.

There is only so much a football club can do but they know better than most the importance of local support.