A unique event to celebrate 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, which was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, will take place this evening.
The Lady with the Lamp lantern procession is among a number of high profile events scheduled to take place during 2020 to promote unity among the nursing and midwifery professions, and to mark the 200th birth anniversary of the founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale.
The Island’s Director of Nursing Cath Quilliam will lead around 100 nurses and midwives along a route to visit the sites of four former general hospitals in the Douglas area at Fort Street, Crellin’s Hill, Westmoreland Road and Demesne Road.
Nursing staff carrying lanterns will set off from Noble’s Hospital at 7pm, with the procession culminating at Crookall House, headquarters of the Department of Health and Social Care, where participants will receive a commemorative cup and enjoy refreshments.
Director of Nursing, Cath Quilliam said: ’The pandemic put paid to many of our plans to celebrate this special year during the spring and summer, so I’m delighted we have been able to reschedule our Lady with the Lamp walk. It would be lovely if members of the public gave us a wave along the route, as we retrace the steps of our predecessors.
She added: ‘Staff from both the public sector and private providers are looking forward to what we hope will be a unique and meaningful spectacle, walking together in unity and lighting up the darkness with their lanterns. We hope it will be a memorable experience for everyone.’
Minster for Health and Social Care David Ashford said: ‘We are fortunate to be able to resume events marking Year of the Nurse and Midwife and I thank our enthusiastic organising committee for its hard work. The year always intended to celebrate the core values of nursing and midwifery and to promote careers in the professions, especially among young people. The procession aims to do just that, and will symbolise unity, mutual respect and a joint sense of purpose.’
The Lady with the Lamp walk is being dedicated to nursing and midwifery colleagues in the UK who are unable to partake in Year of the Nurse and Midwife celebrations due to pandemic restrictions.
The walk will be marshalled to ensure everyone’s safety, and money raised from entrants’ fees will be donated to the IOM Food Bank. Walkers will be entered into a draw to win one of three individually designed nursing-themed gifts, kindly donated by Loleasa Events Ltd.