Rainbow tribute to NHS staff painted on South Tyneside's roads

South Tyneside has gone over the rainbow to show its appreciation of front-line NHS workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

New road markings are being installed across the borough to thank NHS workers for their outstanding efforts throughout the last year.

A total of 18 ‘Thank You NHS’ signs are being painted on roads close to healthcare facilities in South Shields, Jarrow and Hebburn, as well as at key entry points to the borough in Cleadon, Boldon Village and Whitburn.

South Tyneside Borough Council leader Coun Tracey Dixon said it was important to let workers know how much their hard work and sacrifice was appreciated: “NHS staff have, and continue to do, a tremendous job in the most challenging of circumstances,” she said.

Coun Tracey Dixon hopes the rainbow roads will be a morale boost for staff

“It is important to remember that the death toll during the latest lockdown has been far higher than during the first. For this reason, we want to remind health workers that we continue to stand with them and appreciate all they do.

“This may seem a small gesture but we hope it will provide a much-needed morale boost to those who have gone above and beyond. We know our communities truly value the NHS and this tribute on behalf of the entire Borough is about demonstrating our gratitude.”

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A number of the road markings are being installed on the approach to South Tyneside District Hospital in the hope that frontline workers will see the messages and feel supported by their communities.

Ken Bremner, chief executive of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said the gesture meant a lot to staff who were working in stressful conditions: "The past year has, without a doubt, been one of the most challenging years that we have ever faced in the NHS,” he said.

“We are massively appreciative of all of the support that we have received during the pandemic, it has provided a huge morale boost for us all.

"The rainbow has become a symbol of the efforts of all who are working in the NHS during the pandemic and this gesture from South Tyneside Council will no doubt put a smile on the faces of many of our staff coming into our hospital sites at this difficult time.”

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