Local NHS staff given the first class treatment

Pilots and cabin crew are boosting the morale of NHS mental health workers in Hove by offering them a first class airline lounge experience.

Volunteers from Project Wingman, which gives furloughed, grounded or redundant UK airline personnel a chance to support the wellbeing of local NHS staff during the Covid-19 pandemic, visited Mill View Hospital in Hove to offer staff some much needed rest and relaxation.

Mill View, which is run by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, offers care and support to adults experiencing mental health problems.

The lounges are open for any staff member to enjoy, and offer a safe, quiet space away from the wards for people to decompress and reflect.

The airline volunteers are all trained to manage and communicate in stressful situations, and they are using these skills to lend staff at Mill View a friendly ear and a cup of tea whilst they take time out from their working day.

David Gott, Project Wingman Team Leader at Mill View, said: "Project Wingman and its grounded aircrew volunteers have enjoyed coming into Mill View to give staff a treat in their new airline style lounge.

"We have loved delivering our first class service of snacks, drinks and chat, and putting a smile on the faces of everyone who comes in." 

Lauren D'Souza, Clinical Lead Nurse Manager at Mill View, said: "Project Wingman has made such a difference for all of us working across Mill View Hospital.

"Thanks to the Project Wingman volunteers, our staff room has become a welcoming space for all to come and relax on a break from a busy shift. It's given us the chance to get to know each other better, and most importantly, feel supported and cared for. There is a real positive buzz across the hospital, which is all down to Project Wingman."