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Somerset will welcome NHS workers free of charge on Saturday

Somerset will welcome NHS workers free of charge on Saturday
Somerset will welcome NHS workers free of charge on Saturday

More than a thousand NHS workers and their families will attend the third day of Somerset’s LV= Insurance County Championship match with Warwickshire free of charge on Saturday.

It is the club’s way of paying tribute to work carried out during the Covid-19 pandemic. Representatives of NHS Trusts in the South West will be present for a day of celebration.

Somerset have offered staff free tickets for all four days of the Warwickshire match, but the majority have been snapped up for Saturday and a number of special events have been planned.

The players will warm up in a special limited edition NHS shirt, designed by 12-year-old supporter Tom Clarke for a competition the club organised.

Marcus Trescothick will be on hand to present one of the shirts, signed by the Somerset squad, to the Love Musgrove charity, which raises funds for Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton.

The club will be offering spectators a text number through which they can donate to the charity, which has been adopted as match sponsor for the Warwickshire game.

Somerset’s marketing manager Dan Cooper said: “We ran our first NHS day in 2019 and around 500 staff were admitted free to a game.

“The following year we promised to do another, but the season was curtailed because of Covid.

“During lockdown, we launched an initiative to encourage children to work outside the classroom and help with home-schooling.

“We asked the kids to design a Somerset shirt and Tom Clarke decided to incorporate the NHS in his entry for the competition, which our captain Tom Abell chose as the best.

“It was then decided to link that with the idea for another day of tribute and that the players would wear the shirts while warming-up.

“We thought it important to invite the families of NHS workers, as well as the staff themselves, to the Warwickshire match because they had to make sacrifices as a result of being with people on the front line in the battle against Covid.

“It has taken two years to fulfil our promise for another NHS day because of the pandemic, but we are delighted it is now going to happen this weekend.”

Representatives of the South West Ambulance Service, Taunton Musgrove, Yeovil Hospital, Bath Royal United Hospital, Royal Devon and Exeter, Weston-super-Mare & Bristol Trust, University Hospital Plymouth, Cornwall CCG, Torbay & South Devon and Devon Partnership Trust will be among the guests.

Somerset chief executive Gordon Hollins said: “We are absolutely delighted to be celebrating the excellent work that the NHS carry out across the region and throughout the country as a whole.

“The last few years have highlighted the importance of the role the NHS plays, and we will continue to work closely with Love Musgrove, amongst others, to ensure that we as a club do whatever we can to support those on the front line.”

Zoe Steer, head of fund-raising for Love Musgrove, said: “Thank you to everyone at Somerset County Cricket Club and beyond for the incredible generosity in supporting our amazing staff and patients.

“This year Love Musgrove and Our Charity, the official charity of Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, is celebrating its 25th Anniversary with an Appeal to support projects right across the County. The money raised from the NHS Day will go to support these projects.”

To find out how you can donate and support and to see a full list of the projects being funded, head to www.lovemusgrove.org.uk.