Teesside artist Mackenzie Thorpe designs special medals for NHS staff

Mackenzie Thorpe's medal design
Mackenzie Thorpe's medal design Credit: South Tees Hospitals Charity

Teesside artist Mackenzie Thorpe has been working with the South Tees Hospitals charity to make special medals for NHS staff. As part of the 'Pin Your Thanks' campaign, a bespoke pin badge will be given to every member of staff across the area's hospitals and healthcare services. It is a 'thank you' to those who have worked in the sector during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mackenzie Thorpe has given his time free of charge to create the special piece of art. He said it is his way of saying thank you for everything local healthcare teams have done during this challenging time.

He said: "South Tees Hospitals really are the beating heart of our community, caring for us and our loved ones in times of need and never more so than during this last year.

"Like all of us I stand in the shadow of their greatness and will be forever in their debt, so I was honoured to be asked to be involved in the design of this pin and help, in a small way, to show my deepest gratitude to all."

The badge design is based on Mackenzie's 'Duffle Coat Child'.

Ben Murphy, head of South Tees Hospitals Charity said: "We are issuing these badges on behalf of everyone at the trust, our patients and the local community to offer a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of our staff for all their amazing efforts during the pandemic."

The badges have been funded by public donations.

The pin badge is a 'thank you' to NHS staff Credit: South Tees Hospitals Charity

Helen Day, deputy chief nurse added: "What an amazing way to say thank you to all our fantastic staff who have constantly been going above and beyond to help our patients, whilst facing some of the toughest challenges under the most difficult of circumstances. I'm sure staff will look at this badge in years to come and feel extremely proud of what they helped achieve.

"We also want to say an enormous thank you - to everyone in the community for the invaluable support they continue to show by following the rules despite the disruption to their own lives at this time."

And the pins have been given the approval of the Prime Minister after Redcar MP, Jacob Young, presented the design to Boris Johnson.   

Jacob Young, Conservative MP for Redcar, said: "Mackenzie's design is a beautiful tribute to all those who have worked so hard during this pandemic and I was delighted to see this People's Medal design given the full endorsement of the Prime Minister when I met him this week.

"Our heartfelt thanks for everything our wonderful NHS staff have done will stay with us for all of our lives and I think these medals are a fitting and lasting reminder of our gratitude." 

Simon Clarke, Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: "Our entire community owes an enormous debt of gratitude to everybody at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for all they have done over the last year and continue to do as we look towards the end of this challenging chapter in our lives.