Peterborough girl’s heartwarming letter boosts nurses’ morale

A young girl who dreams of being a nurse has lifted the spirits of NHS frontline staff with a heartwarming letter and gifts.

Iris Izatt Smith
Iris Izatt Smith

And after hearing about the work of community nurses at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Iris Izatt-Smith has written them a heart-warming letter and made them a series of colourful keyrings.

The seven-year-old put pencil to paper after being told about the nurses by her grandmother Rosemary Starkey, an administrator for CPFT’s Neighbourhood

Team in Peterborough.

Emma Williamson with Community Sisters from CPFT’s Peterborough Neighbourhood Team, Diana Karasova (holding Iris’s letter and one of the keyrings she made) and Helen Ryan

CPFT’s clinical teams provide physical health care to older people and those with long-term conditions in the community and at inpatient wards. The Trust also provides mental health services to adults and children.

In her letter to Peterborough area nursing managers Emma Williamson and Louise Walton, Iris wrote: “Dear Emma, Louise and all of the nurses,

“My name is Iris and I am 7 years old. I wanted to write to you to tell you how brave you all are and give you a little gift.

“I can’t go to school or my childminders and I can’t spend time with my friends and family, but I know it’s so important to stay inside to help the NHS.

The letter Iris sent to the nurses

“We are all very proud of you. My whole street clapped for you. I’m doing Joe Wicks’ exercising videos – are you doing them too?

“I hope you like the keyrings. And you all stay safe!

“Lots of love from Iris xxxx”

Iris’s mum Ayeisha Smith, who lives in Gunthorpe, Peterborough, said: “She hears all about the work of the nurses from my mum - her grandmother, Rosemary - but it was her decision to write to them and make the keyrings.

“We’ve tried to explain what’s going on and not upset her, and although she’s missing her friends at school she really understands the great work that all nurses, NHS staff and key workers are doing at the moment, and why it’s so important to stay at home.

“She told me the other night she wants to be a nurse when she is older and I couldn’t be more proud of her.”

Emma Williamson, whose team of nurses are based at the City Care Centre, Peterborough, but work across the city and surrounding area, said: “Louise and I were delighted to get Iris’s letter and the lovely keyrings she made for us.

“It’s got pride of place at work so everyone can see it, and we’ve sent a copy of it to everyone in the team – it’s really lifted everyone’s spirits.

“Iris calls our nurses ‘brave’, but they’ll be the first to say they are just doing their jobs. These are difficult times, but we love what we do.

“Everyone at CPFT and across the NHS is putting in the most incredible effort, and our community nurses are continuing to treat older people and those with long-term conditions – the very people who are most at risk from coronavirus – in their own homes.

“The commitment and dedication of everyone in our team is amazing, and it’s nice to know their work is being appreciated by Iris and many others in the community.”

CPFT employs more than 4,000 staff who provide community physical healthcare for older people and those with long-term conditions, mental healthcare for children and adults, children’s health services in Peterborough, learning disability support and social care support.