Transdev pays tribute to ‘unsung heroes’ of pandemic

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Transdev in Yorkshire and Lancashire has recognised the efforts of local NHS teams and key workers to keep vital services going in the first of a series of planned tributes.

Transdev subsidiary The Harrogate Bus Company teamed up with local newspaper the Harrogate Advertiser to create a specially-liveried ‘Harrogate Heroes’ bus to remind everyone of the important role NHS staff and key workers have in our everyday lives – from postal workers to police officers, carers to cleaners – as they work to maintain vital services.

The special bus is now complete, sporting a bright red livery with a blue NHS heart and rainbow, surrounded by photos of local key workers and health service staff. Each was nominated by proud friends and relatives to appear on the sides of the vehicle via social media.

The Harrogate Bus Company’s specially-liveried ‘Harrogate Heroes’ bus, featuring photos of local NHS staff and key workers

Vital work by the bus operator’s own teams to keep transport links running for key workers and those needing to reach food shops and essential services is also recognised on the back of the bus with pictures of some of its drivers, engineers and support staff based at its Harrogate headquarters.

The operator is now planning more ‘Heroes’ buses across Yorkshire and Lancashire. Transdev CEO Alex Hornby said: “As key workers themselves, our drivers and support teams know first-hand how important it is to keep on serving local people by helping others who need to make a journey, including to and from work or to pick up food or access services.

“We know there are many unsung heroes doing all kinds of jobs right now who deserve our community’s thanks, and so we decided to recognise them by covering our ‘Heroes’ buses with their photos, along with the jobs they do – with our amazing NHS workers given pride of place.

“We’re working with several local media organisations across the north to invite nominations to appear on these very special buses, and we’re delighted with the positive response from so many people who clearly share our desire to recognise those who do so much for us all.

“We’ve already had an amazing reaction to our ‘Harrogate Heroes’ bus – and we’ll be creating more Heroes buses across the North, in each of the towns we serve, working with local media partners to create a fitting tribute to the often unsung heroes of our communities.”

Harrogate NHS staff, including (far left) Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive Steve Russell, join The Harrogate Bus Company driver Neil Swales (third from left) in front of the operator’s ‘Harrogate Heroes’ bus

The Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust’s Chief Executive Steve Russell said: “The remarkable care, compassion and resilience being shown by NHS staff and key workers in our community is at the heart of this wonderful tribute by The Harrogate Bus Company.

“The dedication of so many wonderful people makes me incredibly proud to be part of a team of over 4,000 colleagues at HDFT pulling out every stop every single day.

“While I’m so proud of the NHS, there’s no way we could do all this without the support of key workers in the NHS and beyond in the wider community. They’re an invisible army, often receiving little recognition, and this ‘Harrogate Heroes’ bus will make all who see it think for a moment about the vitally important work being done to keep our community going. We’re so grateful for their hard work and support.

“Just as many of our wider key worker family put themselves at risk to keep our town, our county and our country going through this unprecedented time, I hope that their contribution will always be remembered, and they’ll continue to be held up as the heroes that they are.”