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Wall-to-wall thanks for Royal Free staff

A drab, featureless corridor that Royal Free London staff use on their way to and from their life-saving work on the intensive care unit (ICU) is being transformed into a lively space that says a huge thank you every time they walk past.

A combination of art sent in following a public appeal, work produced by a specialist graffiti and street art team and donations to the Royal Free Charity, will give staff something much more interesting to look at as they pass through – and they will also realise how valued they are.

“We want them to smile and take a little time away from thinking about work,” said Sinead Hanton, ICU matron. “When they arrive or leave the ICU they are usually deep in thought, sometimes tearful if it’s been a particularly difficult shift. We hope this will give them a lift.”

She had long wanted a mural for the wall and she and a colleague, Nima Roy, graduate management trainee, put out a social media appeal for help with the support of the Royal Free Charity.

“I was overwhelmed by the number of people who got in touch wanting to contribute – everything from teachers setting this as their class ‘homework’, to Princess Eugenie sharing a plea for art on her social media,” said Nima.

“I think everyone realises the incredible work the staff are doing every single day for us, and this is their way of saying ‘thank you, we appreciate you, in our eyes you’re heroes’.”

Sinead added: “We’re now getting in some terrific artwork from children and adults who want to show their appreciation and which will adorn one wall. And Graffiti Kings have kindly donated their time to create a mural on the other on the theme of NHS heroes. The charity is paying for the materials.

“I hope our staff will recognise that they are the heroes shown on our wonderful new walls.”

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