Living in central London the sound of police and ambulance sirens are a daily occurrence.
When they push through the traffic I imagine what life and death situation they are going to deal with, whether the vehicles occupants know what awaits them or whether they are nervous of what they will find.
I get out of the way if I’m driving, thank my lucky stars it’s not me needing their help and quietly thank them for doing their job.
But the emergency services are so much more than ambulances and police. There are lifeboat crews with RNLI saving lives at sea and their work totally funded by voluntary donations.
There are Mountain Rescue teams across our wonderful high hills who turn out in all weathers and terrible conditions to rescue walkers and climbers in trouble, as well as The Red Cross who work in the UK as well as in the more well-known overseas disaster scenarios
How often do we actually thank these people for being there and doing the challenging job that they do? When there is a tragedy such as the terrible Grenfell Towers fire we do make the effort to thank the fire crews, offer them breaks by the seaside and wonder at their immense fortitude and bravery. Day after day they turn up for work while we carry on in more ordinary professions with this safety blanket of care and courage.
Perhaps at a festive season we might drop a box of sweets or crate of fruit into the Mountain Rescue Centre – or perhaps dog food for their wonderful mountain rescue dogs.
These small gifts are appreciated I’m sure, but I can’t help but think a continual ‘thank you’ is so much more useful.
So I was really pleased when I heard about The Blue Light Card which provides discounts online and on the high street and is available to all members of emergency services such as the police and fire services, the Armed Forces, ambulance crews, Search and Rescue Service and St John’s Ambulance. If you work for the NHS then it is likely you will qualify for the card, too!
Once a person has The Blue Light Card they are entitled to get discounts on a number of really useful items from high-profile brands and businesses. So for example, discounted tickets to a movie with Cineworld Cinemas.
I’m really proud that The Tinnitus Clinic have signed up to the scheme, too, and would encourage other small businesses to get involved, too.
It is a great idea, and I hope those who work in the emergency services or NHS sign up for a card and enjoy a daily small thank you for all the fantastic work they do.