27 April 2020

A businessman who “owes his life to the NHS” has come up with a unique way of raising money to help boost the morale of staff at Shropshire’s acute hospitals.

John Tudor holding one of the bright yellow T-shirts

John Tudor, the Joint Managing Director of Access Cover in Rugeley, has had hundreds of bright yellow T-shirts made with the slogan ‘We Love Our NHS Heroes’ on the front and is selling them to stock the Staff Wellbeing Rooms at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.

He has already generated £2,000 and on Thursday 23 April he delivered goodies, such as chocolate bars, hand creams, soft drinks and shower gels, to go in the Wellbeing Rooms at both hospitals, where staff can take a short break, recharge their batteries, gather their thoughts and help themselves to something to eat, drink or make them feel better.

John, who spent eight-days in RSH after falling seriously ill while on holiday in Tenerife in February, said: “Having experienced first-hand how wonderful the doctors and nurses at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust are I wanted to do something for them, and came up with the idea of the T-shirts to raise money to buy everyday items for staff at no expense to themselves.

“Having spent two day in a Tenerife hospital with Vasculitis I came back to the UK and was admitted to RSH, where I spent a further eight days having also been diagnosed with a gut infection that caused serious failings to my kidneys and liver.

The first delivery of goodies arrive from the money raised from the T-shirts. Pictured receiving the, is Trish Purfitt (left), Catering Manager, from Diane Tudor, wife of John Tudor.

“I was ‘banging on the door’ for a couple of days and for about six weeks I could barely move. It took about 10 weeks for me to recover and I owe my life to the great care I received by so many fabulous people in hospital.”

John said he wanted the T-shirts to be “almost childlike” in their design and opted for a bright yellow colour to lift everyone’s spirits at this challenging time.

He said: “From concept to receiving the first batch of T-shirts took only three days and we are now selling these shirts for £10 each, plus £3 for postage and packaging, with a minimum of £5 of this money going directly to the front line where it is needed most.

“Everyone at Access Cover has played a role in this fundraiser and we look forward to making it a sustainable project that we will continue long beyond the coronavirus pandemic. With this in mind, to get the project off to the best possible start we covered the cost of the first 200 T-shirts and donated the full £10 from each.”

Julia Clarke, the Director responsible for SaTH Charity, said: “We have had an incredible response to our appeal to provide support and wellbeing initiatives for our amazing NHS heroes.

“The incredibly generosity and kindness of people like John means we are able to provide a range of items to help our staff on the frontline. The Wellbeing Rooms are very important as it offers our staff, who more often than not are really tired, a quiet space to share worries, verbalise emotion, have a little cry or just sit quietly.

“The vibrant yellow T-shirts look absolutely fabulous and will bring a bit of brightness to our lives as well as raising money to stock the Wellbeing Rooms.

“It is great to hear that John received such great care and is now on the road to recovery. Thank you John and everyone at Access Cover.”

To buy a ‘We Love Our NHS Heroes’ T-shirt please visit accesscoversltd.com/nhs

For information on how you can support SaTH, which runs RSH and PRH, please visit www.sath.nhs.uk or email we.supportsath@nhs.net