International Nurses Day 2020

12th May 2020

Shine your light tonight to say thank you to those who nurse on International Nurses Day and Florence Nightingale 200.

Lights will shine in windows across the nation tonight to say thank you to those who nurse and those on the frontline of this pandemic to mark International Nurses Day and the bicentenary of the original lady with the lamp and the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale.

“It will take 150 years for the world to see the kind of nursing I envision” Florence Nightingale said in the 1850s.

Now nursing leaders are asking the public to shine a light from their window at 8.30pm tonight to mark to mark the day and show their appreciation for all that nurses are doing to save and rebuild the lives of patients with coronavirus.

Thousands of former nurses have returned to help the NHS with the greatest health emergency in its history, and thousands more students have done their bit in the battle against Covid-19 through choosing to take up extended clinical placements.

To mark International Nurses Day and Florence Nightingale’s bicentenary, an image of her and a message of thanks will be projected on to her place of work, St Thomas’s Hospital, from the Houses of Parliament. It will also be projected onto the British Embassy in Rome and the Italian Federation of Nurses between 9 – 11pm.

Since the start of the pandemic, many of our cathedrals have been lighting up blue every Thursday to say thank you to the NHS as part of the nationwide initiative.

Gloucester, Rochester, Lincoln, Ripon, St Edmundsbury, Portsmouth, Chichester, St Albans, Ely, Guildford and Lichfield have all turned blue to honour our health workers, carers and all frontline workers.

The needleworkers at Exeter Cathedral are making scrubs for their local hospital and for the first time in history, the old bell on Canterbury Cathedral’s central tower – known as bell ‘Harry’ – tolls each evening to remember the day’s global victims of coronavirus, to celebrate the heroism of frontline healthcare staff and other essential workers around the world, and
in recognition of the unprecedented shared global tragedy of this pandemic.

And Lincoln, which has been lit up blue throughout the pandemic, has just recorded a video of the song Somewhere over the Rainbow by the Cathedral choir as a tribute to the NHS, carers and frontline staff serving the country during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The performance features more than half of the Cathedral choristers as well as the lay vicars and choral scholars who make up the Cathedral choir.

Mark Wilde, a lay vicar in the Cathedral Choir who coordinated the project, said:

“This project has given us the opportunity to join together and sing the same song even though we can’t be in the same space, and it is nice to have that sense of unity again.

“Importantly it is also a way that we can pay our own small tribute to all those working on the front line and remind them how much they are valued and hopefully bring a smile to their faces at the same time.”

The Very Revd Christine Wilson, Dean of Lincoln said:

“The theme of hope and optimism in the song Somewhere over the Rainbow is very relevant at the moment. It reminds us that although times may be difficult, with people struggling in many different ways, there will be a time when the lockdown is over. Until then we give thanks for the hard work and dedication of all those working in the NHS, as carers, and in all essential frontline roles”.