Meet the heroes working Christmas Day - to help and protect others

Mel Carder of the Allington clinic

Mel Carder works for the Allington clinic. - Credit: Mel Carder

For most people, Christmas Day is a time to relax, have fun and enjoy the company of friends and family - even if gatherings are severely limited this year.

But spare a thought for the Christmas Day heroes - working hard even though it is December 25 to protect and support their communities, so that you can enjoy a rest.

The sacrifices made by paramedics, police officers, doctors, nurses, engineers and others are even greater this year, given the coronavirus restrictions.

Although up to three households are allowed to mix on Christmas Day itself, Tier 4 restrictions come into force at 00.01am on Boxing Day - meaning those working on December 25 who would otherwise have celebrated with friends and family on others days now cannot do so.

It is therefore perhaps even more appropriate to show our appreciation for those working this year.

We asked you to nominate some of your heroes - here are just some of those giving up their day.

Abi Shaw said she wanted to celebrate Mel Carder who will be working Christmas Day for Allington Clinic and is in the IP1 and IP6 community nurse team.

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Debbie Charles wrote to us to say: "I want to nominate my daughter and son in law as Christmas Day heroes.

Bryony and Andy Oxborrow live in Ipswich and will be working on Christmas Day for the East of England Ambulance Service

Bryony and Andy Oxborrow live in Ipswich and will be working on Christmas Day for the East of England Ambulance Service - Credit: Andy Oxborrow

"Bryony and Andy Oxborrow live in Ipswich. They work for East of England Ambulance Service and will be spending the day working.

"Andy is a recently qualified paramedic and Bryony is a trainee paramedic. They may be working but they will at least get to spend it together inside the ambulance. 

"As with other Christmas Day heroes, they're working so won't be with family and had hoped to meet with us Boxing Day but this cannot happen now.

"Andy also has three teenage daughters he will miss seeing due to the new restrictions. 

"We're proud of all they have done during the pandemic and also their plans to volunteer as members of St John Ambulance for the vaccination programme."

Mike Ward, from Ingham, is a field engineer and has worked for UK Power Networks for 34 years - supporting a 24-hour operation to deliver electricity to customers across the East of England, which continues as usual throughout the festive period.

Mike Ward from Bury St Edmunds

Mike Ward from Bury St Edmunds - Credit: UK Power Networks

A number of engineers and technical experts will be on duty over Christmas to make sure any problems on overhead power line and underground cables are resolved. 

“This year I’m on a standby shift which means I will be called if required, from 8am on Christmas Day until 8pm on Boxing Day," he said.

"It obviously means I cannot have an alcoholic drink, as I need to be ready to drive to work at any time. If the phones goes, I go.

“I am having close family over, I’ll be with my wife and my grown-up son and his family, so we’ll just plan to have Christmas lunch at the usual time and if I have to leave it, I have to leave."

Vicki Wells, manager of Thurleston Residential Home, said: "I would like to nominate my staff team who are working all over the festive period.

"With staff sickness levels at an all time high, certain members of my team (including myself) are working long days, extra shifts etc to ensure that our residents - many of whom will not be seeing their loved ones as they usually would - have the best time ever! 

"We believe that we are all one big family, the staff at Thurleston never lose sight of the honour and privilege it is for us to share our lives with our residents. 

"Also, my team have worked tirelessly to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of us all is paramount.

"We have been Covid-19 free throughout this pandemic and remain so. This is thanks to the hard work and dedication of my thoroughly committed team.

"Not to mention the fact that our residents are absolute troopers and haven taken Covid restrictions in their stride. 

"I hear comments like 'that virus won't get us. I went through worse in the war' and 'it's hard for me not to cuddle my grandchild but at least I'll be here to do it when it's all gone away'."

Stephanie Ludgate emailed to say: "I would like to nominate my daughter Tamsin who will be busy working in the pathology lab later turning around Covid testing at Ipswich Hospital." 

Do you want to nominate a Christmas Day hero for us to feature? Email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk


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