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Man honours his community nurses with 'hero' medals

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  • Coronavirus pandemic
image copyrightLeeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust
image captionBill Wheatley said the nurses were his heros

A pensioner has given 12 community nurses a "hero" award as a thank you for putting themselves on the frontline during the pandemic.

Bill Wheatley, 87, is looked after in his home in Leeds by the nurses, who he calls "my girls".

The Sterling Mint solid silver medals are inscribed to the nurses and carers of Britain and calls them heroes.

Mr Wheatley said: "I thought I'll beat you to it Boris and I'll give them one in case he forgets."

image captionBill Wheatley wanted to "beat" PM Boris Johnson to the award

The former ambulance serviceman said he felt compelled to honour the Meanwood Neighbourhood Team nurses for the outstanding care he has received, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"How they manage to smile doing the job their doing, it beggars belief."

He added: "I have known the team for six years as they nursed my wife before she passed away and they've nursed me ever since.

"Nurses are undervalued and there's no respect but it's got to alter.

"While ever I can stand on my feet I'm going to make sure it does."

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Mr Wheatley is now supporting a campaign for the NHS to be awarded the George Cross for efforts during the pandemic.

Therese Dales, associate community matron, said the nurses were "thrilled and touched" by Mr Wheatley's gesture.

"It's part and parcel of our role but we're so touched that he has taken so much effort to appreciate what we do."

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