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Special send off for Cornwall’s NHS poppy wreaths

Trust staff and members of the armed forces community holding poppy wreaths outside Helston Community Hospital.

Trust staff and members of the armed forces community holding poppy wreaths outside Helston Community Hospital.

Poppy wreaths from the Trust are on their way to London ahead of Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday.

The wreaths were among those blessed in a special ceremony at Helston Community Hospital on Monday 6 November. They were then flown to Plymouth on board a Merlin helicopter from RNAS Culdrose, ahead of being taken to the capital by train to be laid outside the Cenotaph.

The special journey is part of the Poppies to Paddington operation, launched by The Veterans Charity and Great Western Railway during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trust colleagues, veterans and members of the Armed Forces Network were at the blessing, including matron of Helston Community Hospital Lynda McHale. She described the team's close connection with the forces.

“On a local level, there are lots of different forces that are based here in Helston. It is not just the Navy, but the RAF and everybody are all based at Culdrose. I think because we all have that connection, it means an awful lot.

“I think the pride is there. It is really obvious that they are really proud. Also, I think they are thankful for somebody or some people keeping that connection between them.”

Neill Wilson is an Armed Forces Staff Champion at the hospital.

“It is important for us because it is the hundredth anniversary of remembering for the hospital. The hospital was 100 in May so sending a wreath up to Paddington, which will be laid at the Cenotaph, is quite special.”

Chair of the Trust's Armed Forces Network and matron of Camborne Redruth Community Hospital, Sue Greenwood, was also among the guests.

“There is a very close tight-knit connection with the forces in a lot of the communities in Cornwall, and it holds a lot of memories for people when we come round to Remembrance Sunday.

“I am absolutely honoured to have been part of the service and to be able to represent all of the people from the Trust, and everyone on the Network, in how we commemorate all those who gave their lives.

“It is very close to my heart. I was in the forces and my husband was as well, so it touches a lot of our staff's lives and our patients. I think what we have done has been absolutely special and so lovely to have all of those people join us in sending and blessing our wreaths.”

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