Prince William praises staff during first lockdown visit at Norfolk ambulance station
PUBLISHED: 18:18 16 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:24 18 June 2020
The Duke of Cambridge praised staff from an ambulance station at a Norfolk hospital for their dedicated work in his first royal event since the start of lockdown.
Prince William visited the King’s Lynn Ambulance Station at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for his first face-to-face meeting with the public in months on Tuesday.
During the socially-distanced visit the Duke thanked crews from the East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) for “all your hard work” and said he was looking forward to a pint in the pub.
Prince William said: “Everyone appreciates the NHS, we have an amazing system, it’s a great health service and many countries around the world envy what we have.
“It’s not until you have a big crisis, a pandemic, and everyone realises we have to really make sure we value and we show our appreciation.”
In a lighter moment the duke joked: “I look forward to messages when we can drink more and go out to the local pub and have a pint.
He also joked: “I’m worried about the waistline of the nation as well, with all the chocolate and cakes. I’ve done a lot of baking at home. Chocolate goes down very well.”
Among the staff to meet Prince William, who worked as a helicopter pilot for EEAST, was paramedic Aimee Horton, who has worked for the trust for seven years.
She said: “It was very thoughtful for the Duke to choose to visit us and nice to know that we are in his thoughts.”
Senior paramedic Rebecca Endersby said: “We are all proud of the work we have done at EEAST during the pandemic. The ambulance service has always considered itself as a family which looks after each other. COVID-19 has shown just how much we care about one another and we are delighted that His Royal Highness recognises this.”
Jess Blamire, who joined the Trust seven months ago as a make ready operative, and has responsibility for cleaning and preparing EEAST’s ambulances before they hit the road, said: “It was a real privilege that the Duke came to see us and hear about how we are getting through this pandemic. He was very interested in what we had to say and the steps we have been taking to keep ourselves and others safe.”
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