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‘You could see their faces lift’ – Hospital staff surprised with gift of 3,000 tulips

PUBLISHED: 13:24 24 April 2020 | UPDATED: 13:24 24 April 2020

Norfolk cheese-maker Sam Steggles gave 3,000 tulips to staff at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital to thank them for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. He is pictured in the fields at Belmont Nurseries, where the flowers were grown Picture: William Steggles

Norfolk cheese-maker Sam Steggles gave 3,000 tulips to staff at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital to thank them for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. He is pictured in the fields at Belmont Nurseries, where the flowers were grown Picture: William Steggles

William Steggles

Around 3,000 Norfolk-grown tulips were given to exhausted hospital staff at the end of their shift to show gratitude for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Norfolk cheese-maker Sam Steggles (left) gave 3,000 tulips to staff at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital to thank them for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Sam StegglesNorfolk cheese-maker Sam Steggles (left) gave 3,000 tulips to staff at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital to thank them for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Sam Steggles

Health service workers at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital were surprised with the colourful gift by goat’s cheese maker Sam Steggles, who also runs the Goat Shed farm shop at Fielding Cottage in Honingham.

The flowers had been collected from growers at Belmont Nurseries in Terrington St Clement near King’s Lynn – partly in exchange for some of his firm’s cheese, and partly for a donation to the nursery’s chosen charity, the Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House.

The tulips were bunched and left in buckets of water by the staff entrance so they could be safely collected while observing social distancing rules.

Mr Steggles said: “I wanted to take some flowers up to the hospital to give to the people keeping out health services going. I gave them to the doctors the nurses, the cleaners – anyone coming off shift at 7pm.

Norfolk cheese-maker Sam Steggles (left) gave 3,000 tulips to staff at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital to thank them for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Sam StegglesNorfolk cheese-maker Sam Steggles (left) gave 3,000 tulips to staff at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital to thank them for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Sam Steggles

“It was really nice. They were coming out and a lot of people looked very tired and had obviously had a hard day.

“You could see their faces lift as they saw this wall of tulips waiting for them. It put a smile on so many peoples faces, which was the aim of the exercise.”

Mr Steggles also collected another 2,000 tulips to give to his farm shop customers to thank them for their support during the lockdown.

Susanne Eves at Belmont Nursery said: “I was very happy to help with this because my father was in the Norfolk and Norwich for a week last November and they looked after him really well.

“Even under normal everyday circumstances we could see how hard they were working. Now they are doing a very hard job in very difficult times, so if we can give them an indication that their work is appreciated and put a smile on someone’s face, then it gives us a lot of pleasure to do that.”

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