Health & Social Care Staff Honoured at Civic Event

31st July 2023
(1) Ashley Collins (Manager, Ravara Court), Mayor of Ards & North Down Borough Council, Councillor Jennifer Gilmour & Sister Hazel Bartley

Staff from across the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust were delighted to attend a civic reception at Bangor’s City Hall today to honour the conferment of the George Cross by the Late Queen, Elizabeth II, to the Health Service in recognition of their exceptional work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is only the third time that the George Cross has been awarded to an organisation rather than to an individual.

Health and Social Care staff in the Trust, who already enjoy the Freedom of the Borough of Ards and North Down, which was bestowed in 2018, said they feel very honoured to have been further recognised by the Council.

Sister Hazel Bartley who attended the event said, “It is an honour to be here today in Bangor City Hall to mark the conferment of the George Cross for Health & Social Care staff.  It is a real privilege to be recognised for the commitment made by all staff during the COVID19 pandemic.”

Ashley Collins, Manager, Ravara Court commented  “It is lovely to be here today representing social care staff for all their incredible work undertaken throughout the pandemic and which they continue to do every day.  It was truly a wonderful event.”

Deputy Chief Executive, Dr David Robinson, thanked Ards and North Down Borough Council for hosting the event and said, “On behalf of all Health and Social Care staff working across the Trust, I would like to thank the Council once again for today and this special accolade.  The awarding of the George Cross is testament to staff who have made incredible sacrifices in their line of public service; not least during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  It is very much appreciated.”

The Mayor of Ards and North Down Borough Council, Councillor Jennifer Gilmour stated, “It was my pleasure to host a reception at Bangor City Hall this afternoon, as we joined to celebrate healthcare staff following the conferment of the George Cross on the NHS. This incredible honour is a testament to NHS staff right across the United Kingdom – current and former – who have made incredible sacrifices, to care for patients and their loved ones during times of grave need.

“The George Cross is a fitting tribute to the extraordinary courage, compassion and dedication NHS staff show towards patients and their families every day.

“On behalf of Ards and North Down Borough Council, I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank those working across the health and social care sector in Northern Ireland for everything they have done, and continue to do, to care for us all.”