Ambassade de Belgique au Royaume-Uni
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Staff of the Embassy of Belgium donates £15,000 to the Cavell Nurses’ Trust

21 décembre 2020


Living in neighbouring countries with close historical ties, the people of the United Kingdom and Belgium have shared over the past decennia many moments of good fortune and happiness, but occasionally also moments of adversity and misfortune. The shared prosperity generated by close economic ties that go back centuries in time is a case in point, as is the strong solidarity demonstrated at both sides of the Channel during times of upheaval. The many commemorations we both continue to celebrate remain to this day a powerful testimony of these bonds in times of prosperity and adversity.

In this difficult year 2020, and certainly now, in the run up to Christmas and the New Year, we share yet another challenge, the one of having to deal with the impact of a global epidemic and its containment. This time of the year is both in the United Kingdom and Belgium the moment par excellence of reunion, home-coming and celebration. While everyone will be affected by this situation, end of year celebrations will be particularly hard for medical and healthcare staff. For nurses and midwives this period will also be a time of duty, with over 100,000 nurses working over Christmas and New Year in the NHS in England alone and 12,000 midwives welcoming 1,400 new citizens to the world.

In that context, Edith Cavell remains a source of inspiration in both our countries. It was during WW1 that the British nurse spent time in both Belgium and the UK and saved the lives of many soldiers. Her remarkable life, values and tragic death led to the creation of the Cavell Nurses’ Trust. The charity supports registered nurses, midwives, nursing associates, maternity support workers and healthcare assistants, both working and retired, when they are suffering personal or financial hardship.

Keeping alive the spirit of solidarity that is in the DNA of the relation between our two countries, Ambassador van der Pluijm and the diplomats at the Embassy of Belgium in the UK have therefore taken the initiative to donate a part of their personal allowances to the Cavell Nurses’ Trust. The donation will help funding grants to  financially support nurses and midwives over the Christmas and New Year period. Indeed, since the pandemic hit the UK, there has been a 175% increase in the number of nurses needing the Trust’s help, compared to the same period in 2019.

Inspired by the gesture of their parents, children of the Belgian diplomats also made a drawing that is presented to the Trust as a symbolic gesture accompanying this donation.

Drawing with people and flags