Help us find our winning wedding couple

We need you to help us choose our winning wedding couple for our Key Worker Wedding!

Which couple will win? It's up to you...

Back in May we launched our 'Win Your Wedding' competition - a chance for Key Workers and local heroes to shout about their brilliance and for us to offer one lucky couple the wedding of their dreams at Brockholes. 

After much deliberation, we have narrowed down the entries to a top 10 for you to pick your favourites from. Read the stories below, and choose your favourite in the box at the bottom.

Good luck, everyone!

Deadline: August 9, 2020

The Final 10

Hannah and Christopher

Hannah and Christopher

Me and my partner have both worked every day throughout the pandemic, where, at the beginning neither of us were given any sort of PPE to keep ourselves safe. We have a little boy at home but we still got up every day to go to work with the risk of endangering our lives aswell as our little boy's.

Chris works as a bin man so he is exposed to all sorts of viruses and I work in a care home. 

The general public has benefited from Chris' work because if he wasn't working, their bins wouldn't be emptied and the world would be a messy place. I look after peoples families, caring for them, treating them always as my own family while putting my immediate family at risk every day.

We have never once complained. We have got up every day and gone to work, with a smile on our face and served the community, and we would do this until the end of time. We always put other people first and our plans are always pushed back.

While the people I care for haven't seen their family for 3 months now, I go in and comfort them every day, tucking them into bed, kissing and cuddling them goodnight and always being there when they are upset, angry or sad.

I think we deserve to win our wedding because we've not had an easy ride during our lives and during this pandemic. All our plans have been put on hold, from wedding to holidays because of this pandemic, we work our socks off and are just scrapping by constantly getting upset that we could never afford our dream wedding.

We always go on nature walks and just love the outside. This would be absolute perfect and a dream come true for the three of us.


Asma and Imtiaz

The overlooked role in the COVID19 pandemic; your local Pharmacist!

Pharmacists like myself have been actively helping patients on the frontline, reducing pressure on other parts of the health service and putting our patients needs first. Whilst GP surgeries have had to close their doors to patients we have been needed more that normal. From the diagnosis and referral of a wide range of conditions, to the safe dispensing of medication as well as the countless advice given, the work load has been non-stop during these unprecedented times.

Professional, caring and dedicated to my local community, Pharmacists are the only healthcare provider open to the public with a true open door system. With the help of my team, I, as the Pharmacist, have actively helped patients as much as I can. My priority has been ensuring that patients of ill health have received their necessary medication.

It has been increasingly difficult to obtain key medication and I have been liaising with GP surgeries to recommend prescription alternatives. So the 7 month old baby whose gastro-oesophegal reflux medication was out of stock received her alternative in a timely manner and the dad who was on his way to A&E for a 1st degree burn was stopped in his tracks and provided with the correct dressings and self-care advice to reduce the workload in the hospital.

The elderly lady who was too afraid to come into store and wanted us to drop off her medication to her car, the careworker from the local carehome whose patient ran out of Parkinson’s medication as it was misplaced and needed an emergency supply, the mother of 3 who needed treatment and advice on how to manage the scabies outbreak in her home and the young chap who rang at 9:30pm panicking about his inhaler malfunctioning. These are a few examples I have encountered in the last few days alone. Every patient who needed any form of assistance and wanted their problems solved quickly and efficiently as well as other healthcare professionals have benefited from Pharmacists on the front line.

Pharmacists are truly the unsung heroes of the highstreets. Open until late night, patients have always been my main concern despite the continual juggling act behind the scenes. In the current pandemic, this is only magnified. In a short staffed environment, day to day offering crucial services like the morning after pill, minor ailments schemes, offering advice for conditions and helping with queries from patients and GP’s. I have been finding solutions for drug shortages, supplier delays and procurement issues, all whilst meeting the needs of each and every patient.

Furthermore, in normal circumstances it is unlike me to work away from my permanent workplace, however during the bank holiday I picked up a shift in a small independent pharmacy in a different town as they were struggling for cover, during this shift I ensured prescriptions from emergency care were promptly made available to those who were shielding. A healthcare hero always puts others first and I personally like to focus on improving the quality of a patients life.

Every day as the Pharmacist I must consider the risk to myself and the patient whilst making sure I am close enough yet far to see the blepharitis in a patients eye or the cellulitis infection on their leg. Safety has been a crucial priority as the pharmacy is operating a one-in, one-out policy as we try to reduce the risk not just for people coming in for their medicines, but also to protect my staff. It has become increasingly busy and I had to quickly adapt to new ways of working to ensure patient needs are fulfilled. Vulnerable patients who are unable to leave their homes but still require face-to-face consultations, but within the constraints of social distancing. These anxious and confused patients had to be reassured over the phone or signposted if needed.

Running a new delivery service that we never had before have also helped those isolating, shielding or in quarantine to prevent the spread of the virus. In the midst of the panic, I had an elderly lady approach me as she wanted her blood pressure measured and was turned away from her regular pharmacy as pharmacies are generally not carrying out services that require close contact. I was within my right to refuse the service but my conscience told me I should help her as she seemed very anxious. It turned out her blood pressure was 223/95! (the norm being 140/90) which resulted in her going into immediate emergency care. Although these small acts are not glamorised on the news It just made me think that if I had acted in the same way as the other pharmacy whilst knowing the consequences of extremely high blood pressure, where would this lady be today?

Believe me when I say community Pharmacists are not accustomed to blowing their own trumpets. But the truth is, Pharmacists have always been essential, it is only now that the public are starting to realise. For years we have dealt with negative perceptions from pharmacy users. Not long ago ITV This Morning broadcasted a clip where a patient was on national TV insulting Pharmacists and referring to them as shopkeepers, discrediting the entire profession. Imagine studying for a whole 5 years only for people to shout, “how long does it take to a label on a box?!” Unfortunately It has always been a constant battle to get any recognition for pharmacy teams, always having to argue the case of key workers and to be put in to death in service benefit scheme etc.

My fiancé is also a Pharmacist who should be recognised for his own selfless acts, we pride ourselves with the effort we put in every single day and for being essential workers that contribute a service to society. The number one rule in pharmacy is to make patients your first concern and that is something that is always on the forefront of my mind, even more so during a pandemic.


Alex and Lauren

Alex and Lauren

During the initial stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic, I assisted in the start-up and running of the Morecambe Bay Food Bank 'Pandemic Operations'.

This included the creation of a management system for the coordinating of vehicles, volunteers, and food parcels; a system that is still in use now. In addition, I am currently serving within the NHS as an Emergency Care Assistant on Front Line Ambulances within the Northwest. This involves providing emergency aid to members of the public; transporting COVID positive patients to specialist units; and returning those who have been discharged back to their homes.

It is difficult to say how many and who has benefited from my actions, however to date there have been 15000 food parcels delivered by the Morecambe Bay Food Bank. In addition to this, I have assisted numerous persons whilst serving on the front line ambulances; with benefits stretching to each patient's family and friends.

Although I have been furloughed from my full-time job with the RNLI, I have not shied away from the COVID Pandemic and have done all I can to assist my local community; but also continue to provide for my young family during this difficult time. Each time I leave the house, I am not sure who I will meet, however, ensure I provide each person with the care that they deserve

Others have benefitted from my actions by creating a command and management system for the Morecambe Bay Food Bank, I have helped to ensure that those vulnerable are able to still receive food parcels and support when required. In addition to this, during my time as an Emergency Care Assistant, I have provided lifesaving, urgent and non-urgent care to those who have dialed either 999 or 111 for support

My partner and I have been engaged since November 2013. We have been waiting for the 16th of May to fall upon a Saturday as this date holds sentimental value to us both, so we have waited for seven years. Last year our first daughter Elizabeth arrived after an unexpected pregnancy, yet we were still able to continue to prepare for the wedding of our (Lauren's) dreams. During the first stages of the UK's response to COVID-19, we saw our dream getting smaller until it was stamped out by the Lock Down. Our wedding venue has now announced it will not be able to provide services after this lockdown, and many of our venders have mentioned they potentially could go the same way; with some unable to return us our deposits.

After so much heartache, the chance to have everything that is being offered available to us will help me to provide the perfect wedding day that my fiance deserves.


Jess and Lewis

Jess and Lewis

I'm a nurse that has returned to the NHS while furloughed from my private sector nurse role and Lewis is a residential support worker with children in care. He is amazing with these children protecting them while out on walks and people have assumed that they aren't a family shouting abuse, he has worked hard to make their already challenging life as normal as possible during lock down.

Lew has twice stood up for the children who have received abuse while out on their daily exercise as they don't look like a traditional family, he stepped up and told strangers that they were a family and made those children feel safe loved and protected, I may nurse covid at the local hospitals but he nurses these children's souls so they are safe and cared for.

I don't think I'm a hero; I choose to be a nurse and I wanted to return to the NHS to assist my colleagues. Lew is a hero stepping into the lives of children and helping to prepare them to leave care at 18 it more emotionally demanding than nursing a covid ward.

I hope people have seen the kindness and love that each of us carry out our role with. I know has a lasting impact on those he has seen through the care system, I hope that I have made isolated patients feel cared for and safe to.

In all honesty, I don't suppose we do deserve to win our wedding. I love being a nurse and Lew loves being a support worker, I would just love to let him know that he is appreciated despite the low pay and long hours he puts in. We love Brockholes and nature and honestly would just live to share a day with our friends and family somewhere beautiful. My family live in Suffolk and I would love to show them a beautiful part of our life.


Damien and Ellen

My fiancée is a frontline nurse at Royal Blackburn Hospital and for the first month of Covid was moved from her department on Ambulatory Emergency Care Unit to work on the Covid positive wards to help with the short staffing.

She has held hands and comforted dying patients and given hope to families of recovering patients by keeping them updated via telephone conversations. Working extra shifts even though she has two children at home 50% of the time which I have been helping homeschooling to help ease the added stress. I’ve also been cooking/baking food for her to take for the staff she has worked with. I’ve also just taken on a position in the kitchen at the same hospital as I’m a chef and currently on furlough due to the lockdown but want to use my time to give back and help where it’s needed. Ellen has an older daughter which she has only seen twice from a distance during lockdown but tries to maintain a close relationship with calls and messages daily. Despite all this Ellen has a very positive attitude to life in lockdown. She’s enjoying time with her children and finding ways to entertain them after school work is done.

Patients and families of the Royal Blackburn Hospital have benefited from our actions. Friends and colleagues enjoyed food/treats. Ellen’s daughters have enjoyed their extra time with their mum.

Ellen’s moved departments several times without any resistance. She’s aware of the pandemic and the drastic changes this has meant in the hospital and her need to adapt her skills accordingly as have I.

I think our actions have made us good role models to Ellen’s children. I know our families are proud of us at this difficult time and have been nothing but supportive to us both.

While the pandemic has been progressing it’s made me want to give Ellen the wedding she deserves. We both love the outdoors and the countryside around where we live. We have spent the last 2 years saving to buy a house which was due to complete until Covid19 happened as well as our engagement celebration and a holiday have also been postponed and feel a loving celebration such as our wedding would be a lovely time not just for us but Ellen’s children, our families and friends.


Shammie and Joshua

Shammie and Joshua

I’m not sure I would call myself a hero, but my family say I am and told me to enter. I work in a project that supports women who come from disadvantaged back grounds, such as fleeing domestic violence or have a criminal history to get their life back on track. I only recently changed jobs, previous to this I was a mental health support worker, supporting 12 tenants with mental health needs.

The women I talk to daily have benfitted from my actions, I think. The fact they have someone checking in on them during these challenging times cannot be overlooked. Some women aren’t having any contact with someone other than their children, or no contact at all. Someone to chat and check they are ok has been really appreciated. Like I say,

Nothing makes me stand out as a hero, this is my passion. I’ve always wanted to help others, it’s my purpose in life. I cannot compare myself to my front line colleagues, the nurses helping my Nanny with Covid-19 in her nursing home, or my friends on the front line in hospitals or emergency services! I try my best to be there and support them all as much as I can be, and always a listening ear.

I like to think of myself as someone who genuinely cares, and will support them in any way possible.

In my last job I had just left, I was always described as someone that went “above and beyond”, I always saw it that I was doing the best I could!

I’m not good at tooting my own horn! I guess sometimes I need to look after myself, rather than other people. I never put myself before others and it can be exhausting, but I wouldn’t change that about me - It’s what makes me happy and gives me purpose. Despite this, I know for my own wellbeing having something for my Partner and I would mean the world to me, to have all my friends and family together after all the stress and hardship Covid had brought to everyone.


Martin and Danielle

Martin and Danielle

While everyone else has been at home in isolation, I have continued working delivering parcels for Amazon which has kept the most vunerable and most deserving customers entertained. But most of all they seem to just like the little interaction they have with us. With me carrying on working mean's I am keeping money coming in to support my partner and children with the essentials we need during this difficult time.

The customers I deliver to have massively benefited from my action's because 90% of them can't go out of their house so they rely on food and item's being delivered to them. It's a boring time for a lot of us right now so it's a reward for me seeing the smiles on their faces when I am there with a parcel and they are so grateful.

I think what makes me stand out as a hero is I feel I am more dedicated to my job now more then normal. I will make sure all my parcels are delivered no matter what or how late im out until. I sacrifice al ot of time away from my family when I am working but I know and I am constantly reminded of what a great thing I am doing for my customers.

I feel my customer's have benefited from my actions because without me they wouldn't have the book they need or the school books to carry on educating their children. I've also been ringing up family members to get a shopping list from them so I can drop food of at their housees as they are in the age bracket which are considered most vulnerable.

I beleive I deserve to win this wedding because my partner truly deserves it more then me. She is the most loyal, trustworthy, supportive and loving women I have ever known and to see her smiling on our wedding day in a beautiful dress would be an image that will stay with me forever. She works hard like me being a carer and risks her life a lot more then me everyday so this would be a thankyou to her aswell.


Chris and Catherine

Chris and Catherine

My partner is a nurse, an outstanding nurse, and since the start of this outbreak she volunteered to move from her normal ward onto a ward dealing with only Covid positive patients, on permanent night shifts! I work in recycling as a maintenance engineer and am also a key worker, on days! Although still having to work I would not consider myself a hero during this pandemic, but Catherine is enough of a hero for both of us! She saves lives daily, her level of compassion and personal care is second to none. She works extra when needed but besides the hero she is at work she’s a hero at home too! Looking after our 3 children and keeping our house ticking over! And I shouldn’t forget walking our dog after a 12 hour shift... Catherine never moans but sometimes cries when her patients sadly pass, which says it all about how she operates! But she is still the strongest person I know!

There’s probably too many people who have benefitted from her actions to name! Anyone themselves or a family member who has been in the care of Catherine has benefitted! Her colleagues deserve just as much credit for their work, but I know how much they appreciate working alongside catherine. The hospital, the wards, the NHS and the whole population have benefitted from catherine! Our kids, our family and friends are all so lucky to have her in our lives, me especially!

The can-do attitude makes us stand out! We’re both servicing this country and although we both feel very fortunate to be in our careers, we see very little of each other and have lost the precious time we did have. With me working days and catherine working nights most days we don’t share a meal together! The kids understand but are missing that family time too. Catherine particularly is making sacrifices at work, but that has also had a knock on effect to our home life and is greatly missed!

Personally I can only say that the business I work for and the waste industry has benefitted from my actions where as catherine deserves all the praise on this one! As I previously said, the world is a better place with catherine and you don’t even need to know her personally to see the greatness. Anyone who knows her, meets her or is treated by her should know that is one way or another, they have or will benefit from her!

Funny story... we’re not yet engaged! Although... I’ve saved up for quite a few months ready for my proposal. I wanted to make it special as she deserves it, so... I booked for us to go away on holiday, just us 2 which has unfortunately been cancelled. Along with a spa weekend with her best friend, also cancelled! I’d planned my big proposal with all family and friends at the ready... with the ring.... cancelled... everyone knows about it but her! It took some serious planning with the kids and babysitters and with her work and has unfortunately had to be postponed for now. We also had our first big family holiday booked for May which is still a surprise for the kids but looking unlikely... I think we deserve this, i think catherine deserves this because what was meant to be the best year of our lives is now suddenly beyond reach. We could really benefit from some good news, in the same way a huge number of people have benefitted from us! If we were lucky enough to win such a great prize it would be life changing and something we really both quite need to look forward to!


Amy and Jamie

Amy and Jamie

 

I was a student nurse at the beginning of this pandemic, I opted into early qualification as a nurse to work on the frontline at Chorley Hospital to help beat this virus.
Jamie is an engineer at Burnley hospital helping the hospital run smoothly during these hard times making sure that vital things such as ventilation, heating and water are working properly.

My compassion as a nurse has helped comfort many patients and families. On my shifts I read letters to my patients from their families and show them pictures of their loved ones, I sit and chat with the patients who are unwell and hold their hands While their families cannot.

I always go above and beyond for my patients, and for my other team members at work. Despite the pressures of the ward business at this time, I always find time to chat and support my patients during these hard times, and I always find time to help my colleges offload and go home feeling positive.

Patients have felt comforted by these actions and families have been very grateful. I have often received phone calls from families saying that my kind actions have helped them feel at ease and have peace of mind that their relatives are being cared for as best as possible.

Me and my partner both deserve this wedding as we both work tirelessly for the NHS. We met in the NHS 4 years ago and will continue our service for as long as we possibly can.

While working on the frontline we contracted Coronavirus and I was quite unwell with the virus at home, this wedding would mean the world to us after going through such hard times and anxieties about if we would overcome the virus.

We have shared a flat for 4 years with me my partner and his 5 year old son while I have completed my nursing degree, to save up for a house. We have finally bought our house and are waiting to move, however saving up for a wedding would take a lot more time for us.

If we could surprise our family and friends with our wedding they would all be ecstatic, after begging us to get married for years!

It would be a dream come true for me my partner and his son.


Ellie and Ashley

I work as a healthcare assistant for the elderly, so I have been working 14+ hour days ensuring all the service users I go to are washed, dressed, fed, had their medication, and putting them in and out of bed. It is the best job in the world seeing their faces light up when we walk through the door.

With 99% of our service users being told to self isolate for 12 weeks, it makes it even more important that we go in and try to cheer them up, as we will be the only faces they see through the day. Knowing I have the ability to make someone’s day when they’d be otherwise feeling lonely is the best feeling in the world.

I wouldn’t say I stood out as a hero, I believe all of our team and all other key workers around the country are all heroes. I feel loved in my job, and if I can make one person smile then I know it’s been a great day.

The service users we go to want routine, and in this uncertain time who knows what routine is? In our job, it’s giving people that sense of normality by us coming in and performing tasks we always would do, gives them a sense of normality.

I would love to have my wedding at Brockholes. My best friend got married there and it was gorgeous. With the lockdown going on me and my fiancé have not had the chance to go and look at venues, so to be able to win our wedding would be the best feeling in the world.

Choose your winner