Grounded cabin crew look after John Radcliffe Hospital staff in mock 'first class lounge'

Airline volunteers are serving refreshments and helping them relax on their breaks.

Project Wingman launched at the JR in Oxford this week.

It's part of a national campaign which has seen airline workers volunteer to serve refreshments and chat with their guests - hospital staff - during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has created a 'first class lounge' in one of the cafes at the John Radcliffe and cabin crew are using their experience of working in stressful and pressured environments, to support hospital workers.

Terry Roberts, Chief People Officer at the Trust, said: "Project Wingman welcomes all OUH staff to visit for some refreshments and a unique opportunity to decompress, switch off, and be looked after by aircrew for the duration of their break.

"The aim is to support staff emotionally and practically, and to give them a much-needed treat in their working day. This initiative is just the ticket for our staff who might want or need an extra bit of support.

"Thank you to all the volunteers from the aviation industry who are using their time to help others."

Project Wingman is also launching at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury next week.

The national initiative was set up by Professor Rob Bor, a Clinical Psychologist at the Royal Free Hospital in London, and two pilots, Dave Fielding and Emma Henderson.

Emma Henderson, co-founder of Project Wingman, said: "We founded Project Wingman as the airlines were starting to ground crew, to support NHS staff both emotionally and practically in extraordinary times.

"We wanted to provide as far as possible, a distraction from their primary role. This is accomplished by utilising uniformed airline crew with their amazing people skills, and having a shared experience of working in highly disciplined, regulated and stressful environments. 

"We are delighted to be able to reach NHS staff in over 40 hospitals in the UK, and to have Oxford University Hospitals as part of the Project Wingman family."

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