The Big 7Tea Party – celebrating 70 years of the NHS

To celebrate the NHS’s 70th birthday and support their Big 7Tea Party initiative, the Luto team held a tea party on the 5th July at our new offices in Pudsey, West Yorkshire. A fine selection of cakes, cookies, coffee and crockery were brought in as you can see from the photos!









In addition to the party, we also captured some of the Luto team’s personal stories on how the NHS has helped them in the past. Check out their stories below:

Michael Robinson: Twenty years ago, I was involved in a road accident, travelling at 50mph when a lady pulled out of a side road immediately in front of me. She was so close that I didn’t have time to hit the brakes and I collided with her vehicle hitting the middle of her door. The force of the impact was so great that my two-week-old Land Rover continued forward and crossed the opposite carriageway through the oncoming rush-hour traffic, mounted the grass verge, ploughed through a thick hedge and landed on its side 50m into a farmer’s field.

I broke all of the ribs on my left side, ruptured both kidneys and the seat belt fractured my breast-bone in two places forcing the broken bones into my heart. The fact that I lived to tell the tale is down to the skill of the fire service in cutting me out of the wreckage and the ambulance crew in keeping me alive until they got me to hospital.

My recovery was slow but in time, I started to mend. My main problem was that I couldn’t get out of bed without being in great pain but luckily a physiotherapist explained a simple technique to use and before I knew it, I was standing upright almost pain free. The ability to move independently sped up my recovery considerably. For as long as I live, I shall remember that simple act of kindness from one human being to another.  And I’ll be forever grateful to the NHS for the enormous skill and dedication of its staff. Without them, I wouldn’t be here today.

One final point – the lady that I crashed into was also very seriously injured, breaking almost every bone in her body. On her arrival at the Emergency Department, she was given a CAT scan.  Amazingly, her doctors discovered that she had a malignant tumour on one of her kidneys which she was totally unaware of. They said if they hadn’t found it when they did, it would have killed her.

Marie Clegg: My partner is a very keen cyclist and one absent-minded day as he was cleaning his bike, he managed to cut his finger down to the bone by getting it caught in one of the spokes. Over the next day or two, he began to lose sensation in the tip of the finger so, we took a trip to the local minor injuries unit one Saturday evening to get it checked out. It turned out that he required surgery and the very next day, on Sunday afternoon, he was booked in for an operation to have his nerve ending re-attached. We were both impressed by how quickly he was assessed, especially on a weekend, and he was home by Sunday evening fully repaired. I don’t think he’ll be sticking his fingers in spokes any time soon!

The team also made some pledges this month to further support the NHS:

Kirstin Blackwell: When Marie emailed the team asking if anyone had pledges to help the NHS in honour of their 70th birthday, it couldn’t have been better timing as I already had an appointment booked with the blood donor centre in Leeds so I promised I’d get a photo.

Now a promise was probably a bit keen as I’m a challenging customer – it can be difficult to find a vein that is suitable in my arms so I don’t always manage to donate on the day. However, my donor carer this week was a superstar and got me set up with ease. So here I am looking pleased with myself for completing my 7th donation:

As I already donate blood, I didn’t think this coincidence should count as a pledge. I’ve asked about giving platelets before but with my shy veins it wouldn’t work. Instead, I pledge to try and spread the word about blood donation and Platelet donation by talking to people I know about how they can help.

There can be misconceptions about the rules on giving blood and these do change, so check the website from time to time. For example – the restrictions that affected men who have sex with men, commercial sex workers and people who have sex with high risk partners have now been changed so that you can donate when 3 months have passed since the sexual activity (rather than 12 months as it was previously, or indefinitely for commercial sex workers). This restriction can still be frustrating for some who would still not be eligible, but a step in the right direction and hopefully this change paves the way for more progress. I’ve personally managed to give blood around travel, tattoos and changes in medication. You just need to be smart about when you book your blood donation appointments to avoid any of the windows where you cannot donate and double check before you go using the website or app.

The best part for me is when you get a text saying where the blood has been sent to. It’s a big help in driving me to donate – knowing that someone (usually relatively local) has benefitted from your donation.

Michael Robinson: My mother needed five pints of blood when I was born (I was a big baby and yes, I am younger than the NHS). I pledged to return the blood and started donating when I was eighteen. I have produced several gallons. In fact, almost an armful.

A big thank you to the NHS from the Luto team for all their hard work!