'Countless acts of courage, kindness, selflessness and sacrifice'

Ella Rhodes reports on the National Emergency Services Memorial.

Designs for the National Emergency Services Memorial (NESM), the UK’s first '999 cenotaph', have been released. The sculpture, which is set to be built in London, will now also include a doctor wearing scrubs in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The NESM charity is aiming to raise £3 million to build the sculpture, which will be created by sculptor Philip Jackson CVO DL, to honour emergency services personnel and animals from the past, present and future. The design includes six figures representing the emergency services, each wearing the uniform they would wear when responding to 999 calls – aside from the newly-added doctor. 

Psychologist Dr Robina Shah, Trustee and Director of Health for the NESM and Director of the Doubleday Centre for Patient Experience (University of Manchester Medical School) said: ‘In unity there is strength. In humanity there’s compassion. In the NHS, social care and emergency services there’s countless acts of courage, kindness, selflessness and sacrifice.’

Shah said the Covid-19 pandemic had alerted and mobilised the public to recognise the increasing sacrifices that emergency services were making.

‘It is humbling to note the public’s increasing thanks and recognition that of the 261 personnel that have succumbed to this virus so far, 63% are from BAME backgrounds. In the context of this narrative it is a huge privilege to accept the role of Trustee/Director of Health care for NESM and a huge honour to lead the UK's first emergency services personnel Cenotaph.’

Pic credit: Tom Scholes-Fogg

We expect to publish an interview with Robina Shah in the coming months.

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