'We must never forget': Memorial to NHS staff who died of Covid is unveiled

Clive Myers' sons Anthony and Jack receive a special recognition award from NELFT’s acting chief executive, Jacqui Van Rossum

Clive Myers' sons Anthony and Jack receive a special recognition award from NELFT’s acting chief executive, Jacqui Van Rossum, on behalf of their father in front of the memorial - Credit: Paul Starr, Starr Photos

A memorial commemorating NHS staff working in Havering, Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge who died of Covid has been unveiled.

The glass artwork was revealed by North East London NHS Foundation Trust at its base in Rainham.

It honours seven of its staff who died from the virus and their families attended a remembrance ceremony.

Clive Myers, a public governor in Redbridge, was one of those who lost their lives.

Jan Ives with the artwork she designed

Jan Ives with the artwork she designed - Credit: Paul Starr, Starr Photos

His son Jack said: “It feels special to have my father, who is just a humble man, recognised in this way and to meet other families and hear their stories.

“We should always thank our NHS. From families who lost loved ones or still have loved ones in the NHS, we should love them forever and work hard to keep the NHS moving forward - pandemic or normality.”

Other NELFT staff who died of Covid were Hero Kwadade, a community mental health nurse in Barking and Dagenham; Laura Orme, a medical secretary in Redbridge and Mark Paton, a practice facilitator for community mental health.

L-R: Relatives of Hero Kwadade, Mark Paton, Clive Myers, Laura Orme attended the ceremony

L-R: Relatives of Hero Kwadade, Mark Paton, Clive Myers and Laura Orme attended the ceremony - Credit: Paul Starr, Starr Photos

Havering doctors Mamoona Rana, a psychiatry registrar, and 
Rajesh Kalraiya, a community paediatrician, also died from the virus as did Thomas Harvey, a healthcare assistant at Goodmayes Hospital.

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The memorial, by artist Jan Ives, reflects the NHS rainbow and has the names of those who died engraved upon it.

NELFT acting chief executive, Jacqui Van Rossum, said: “We must never forget those who dedicated themselves to caring for others during the pandemic and this artwork will ensure their cherished contribution to the NHS will always be remembered.

The memorial represents the NHS rainbow

The memorial represents the NHS rainbow - Credit: Paul Starr, Starr Photos

“Each and every one of our lost seven colleagues were highly regarded and adored by those closest to them and I want to personally thank them for their incredible service to the NHS.”

At the ceremony, NELFT also launched a special recognition award which was presented to the families, on behalf of their loved ones, for extraordinary services to the NHS. 

Jacqui Van Rossum

Jacqui Van Rossum said those who cared for others during the pandemic must never be forgotten - Credit: Paul Starr, Starr Photos

The new accolade is part of the trust’s annual Make a Difference staff awards event.

NELFT’s chair, Joe Fielder, said: “These awards are unique and will be placed in the history of NELFT – to ensure we, and our future generations, remember the sacrifices our colleagues made during the most challenging time in NHS history.”

It comes after a Covid memorial tree honouring NHS staff and social care providers was planted outside Queen's Hospital, Romford in January.