Cumbrian NHS organisations are urging communities across the county to go blue in support of the NHS as it turns 70.

Staff, community groups and businesses are being encouraged to show their support by dressing in or decorating their workplaces in blue, holding their own tea party or sharing their memories.

A number of special events have already been confirmed, with others still in the planning stages ahead of July 5.

Kath Hughes, head of engagement and communications at the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT), is urging people from all walks of life to get involved and make it a birthday to remember.

“This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the achievements of one of the nation’s most loved institutions, to look at the wide array of opportunities being created by advances in science, technology and information, and to thank the extraordinary NHS staff – the everyday heroes,” she said.

“Throughout the year, there will be a series of events to celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS, both locally and nationally. We are hoping that the community spirit in Cumbria really gets behind the NHS in its 70th year to celebrate their achievements and great work.”

Stephen Eames, chief Executive of CPFT and NCUH, added: “The birth of the National Health Service is an important part of history, and this is a great opportunity to celebrate all the good things about the NHS over the past 70 years, as well as look to the future.

“Our staff are the heart of the NHS, and every week I hear from patients praising the care they’ve received from our fabulous people here in Cumbria. Almost everyone in Cumbria will have used the NHS at some point in their lives, and we would like as many people to get involved in the celebrations as possible.”

Among the events taking place is the NHS Big 7Tea fundraiser, which will see tea parties taking place all over the country to mark the anniversary of the health service.

Money raised will be split between 250 NHS charities, funding everything from medical equipment to artwork for wards.

The NHS Big 7Tea will raise awareness of the work of these charities and let the public know how to support them, helping to build new links between the NHS and its local communities.

Celebrity GP Dr Hilary Jones, a regular on ITV breakfast TV, is among those backing the campaign.

He said: “My father was a GP so the NHS has always been a significant part of my life. The NHS also saved the life of my premature twins.

“It has made a huge difference to the health of the nation, so initiatives like the NHS Big 7Tea are a wonderful way for people up and down the country to give back.”

Professor Jane Cummings, chief nursing officer for England, is urging Cumbrians to hold their own tea parties.

She said: “NHS charities raise money and provide vital volunteers to support patient care. By hosting a tea party or volunteering for a local hospital, we can express support for the values and traditions of the NHS, which cares for over one million people every 24 hours.”

Confirmed NHS 70 events happening across Cumbria so far are:

City street party: Join Unison and the NHS in Carlisle city centre on Saturday, July 7, 10am to 2pm. There will be stalls from NHS services, partners and third sector organisations with information about services and how you can improve your health.

Give thanks for the NHS: A service of celebration and thanksgiving for our NHS locally is being held at Carlisle Cathedral on Sunday, July 1 from 6.30pm. The service is open to all staff and members of the public and will be led by the Bishop of Carlisle, James Newcome.

Join the Big 7Tea party: On and around July 5, people across the country will get together over a cup of tea to celebrate the NHS and raise funds for NHS charities. You can find everything you need to know to host the perfect party at

Go blue for the NHS: Decorate your business or workplace and dress up in blue costumes. If you are thinking of hosting an event contact for more details.

Get nostalgic: The Cumbria Archive Centre is hosting a discovery evening at Lady Gillford’s House, Carlisle. It will be a chance for anyone with an interest in local history to access records and photographs from local hospitals, including the Cumberland Infirmary, the former Garlands asylum, Carlisle City General and City Maternity hospitals.

  • We want to hear about your memories and stories of the NHS, past and present. Call Pamela McGowan on 01228 612661 or email