COVID-19: A day of remembrance and appreciation Image Bedfordshire Police

“Each week, the claps get louder”

Bedfordshire’s emergency services came together for a day of tributes and applause yesterday to pay respect to those on the front line of tackling coronavirus.

Last night (16 April 2020), Bedfordshire Police and the East of England Ambulance Service joined Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service for a minute’s silence in tribute to Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong, the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital nurse who tragically died this week after contracting coronavirus.

Tributes to Mrs Agyapong were read by Chief Constable Garry Forsyth at Bedford Hospital and Deputy Chief Fire Officer Andrew Hopkinson at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital respectively.

The tribute described Mrs Agyapong as a “much loved nurse and colleague“, adding:

“We are taking the opportunity to remember and appreciate a wonderful young woman and nurse who made a huge contribution to this NHS Trust, and to the lives of the many patients she cared for.

“We will remember her, they will remember her, and we are all grateful for her service.

“This is also a time to remember all of those NHS staff who have died on the front line of fighting this virus, as well as those both here and around the world who have lost their lives to coronavirus.”

“Last night was a very moving minutes silence”

Following the tribute, police, firefighters and the ambulance service then joined in with the applause for the national clap for carers initiative, to thank everyone who continues to work extremely hard during the coronavirus pandemic.

Liz Lees, chief nurse at Bedfordshire Hospitals, said:

“The minute’s silence to remember our much loved colleague Mary before last night’s 8pm clap was a lovely gesture and we really appreciated the opportunity to pay tribute to her in this way.

“We cannot thank Bedfordshire’s blue light services enough for the incredible support they continue to give us – it means so much to our staff.”

Garry Forsyth, Chief Constable for Bedfordshire Police, said:

“Each week, the claps get louder and it’s an emotional, united moment as we fight this devastating virus together.

“I would like to thank Mary and all of our other frontline heroes for everything they are doing to protect our community and save lives.”

Paul Fuller, Chief Fire Officer at Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said:

“Last night was a very moving minutes silence at both Bedford and Luton and Dunstable hospitals to remember Mary and all the other NHS staff who have given so much to our community.”

Captain Tom Moore - Bedfordshire Emergency Services Clap Image supplied by Bedfordshire Police

Captain Tom Moore honoured

The county’s emergency services also honoured Captain Tom Moore yesterday, as he completed 100 laps of the garden of his Bedfordshire home before his 100th birthday, raising over £18 million for NHS Charities Together.

Bedfordshire Police, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the East of England Ambulance Service visited Captain Moore to applaud his achievement and thank him for his amazing fundraising work on behalf of the county.

Chief Constable Forsyth said:

“At a time of darkness, he is the absolute ray of light breaking through the clouds. We salute you Captain Moore for being an inspiration to us all during these difficult times.”