New 'wellbeing bus' to visit NHS workers in Peterborough

Project Wingman was established as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic during the year 2020.
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NHS workers are being invited to step aboard a special wellbeing bus when it makes several stops across Peterborough from the end of November.

The bus is run by Project Wingman, a charity set up by volunteers from the airline industry who support National Health Service workers with their mental health.

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The visit has been arranged and jointly funded by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trusts’ charity Head to Toe and North West Anglia Hospitals' Charity, which supports patients and staff at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust.

The Project Wingman bus.The Project Wingman bus.
The Project Wingman bus.

Project Wingman’s distinctive blue double-decker bus will be visiting a number of locations including Peterborough City Hospital, the Cavell Centre, Stamford and Rutland Hospital and Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

NHS staff will be invited to visit the bus and enjoy a short break away from their duties. The Project Wingman team on board will be offering ‘a listening ear and a cup of tea.’

Hannah Coffey, Chief Executive at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be able to partner with Head to Toe to offer our staff such a fabulous way to take time out from the pressures of their roles. We hope it will make a real difference at what is traditionally a very busy time of year.”

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CPFT Chief Executive Anna Hills said: “I’d like to thank the teams from Head to Toe and North West Anglia Hospitals’ Charity for collaborating and funding the visit from Project Wingman. They visited a number of CPFT locations earlier this year and received a fantastic reception from staff, so I am delighted they are returning again.”

NHS workers aboard the the wellbeing bus.NHS workers aboard the the wellbeing bus.
NHS workers aboard the the wellbeing bus.

Hannah Wysocki, Charity Manager of Head to Toe, which is using part of a donation received from NHS Charities Together to help fund the initiative, said: “Staff throughout the NHS continue to work tirelessly to ensure patients are getting the treatment and help they need, and it’s vital we protect the wellbeing of our colleagues so they can continue to care.

We are delighted to offer even more NHS staff in the area the chance to take a break and experience what the Project Wingman crew offer.”

Founded in March 2020, Project Wingman was established by Chief Executive Officer Captain Emma Henderson MBE and fellow colleagues in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Emma said: “We all have well-being, and we know that people need support now more than ever and so it is wonderful to be able to bring one of our well-being buses to the NHS sites. We are one safety-related industry supporting another.”

Volunteers from across the airline industry who were grounded at the time, set out to support under-pressure healthcare staff, and over time have adapted what they offer, turning converted double decker buses into mobile well-being lounges. The Project Wingman team have since travelled the country, offering NHS staff the opportunity to de-stress and unwind with crew offering their time and support on a voluntary basis.