NCA corona hero nurse to switch on Blackpool Illuminations 2020

Leona uniform web
NCA corona hero nurse to switch on Blackpool Illuminations 2020
21 August 2020

A NURSE dubbed the ‘Angel form the North” who works for the Northern Care Alliance at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, part of the NCA’s Bury & Rochdale Care Organisation, will switch on this year’s Blackpool Illuminations, alongside some other covid heroes.

Leona Harris is a nurse from Rossendale who has worked as a COVID-19 frontline nurse at Fairfield General Hospital in Bury since the start of the pandemic.

Other heroes include a consultant, another nurse, a hospital catering manager, two extraordinary fundraisers, and a therapy dog and his owner.

Together, they will pull the famous switch at a special virtual switch-on event to be staged in association with MTV on the night of Friday 4 September.

Leona is also celebrating today because she has been shortlisted for a Nursing Times Award 2020, in the Florence Nightingale Nurse of the Year category.

She said:

"I am totally overwhelmed to have been chosen to feature and switch on this year’s Blackpool Illuminations along with other amazing people. Also to be nominated and shortlisted in the final for such a prestigious award by the Nursing Times for the Florence Nightingale Nurse of the Year is unbelievable and surreal. Things like this just don't happen to people like me."

Steve Taylor, Chief Officer at Bury & Rochdale Care Organisation, said:

“Leona is a true hero and a fantastic asset to the team here at Fairfield General Hospital. To be recognised by both Visit Blackpool and the Nursing Times is true testament to her abilities as a nurse. On behalf of everyone at the hospital I would like to say a great big thank you and congratulations to Leona for all her hard work and achievements.”

The Nursing Times Awards take place on Wednesday 14 October 2020 in an inspiring evening ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, the Nursing Times Awards recognise those making nursing an innovative, patient-focused and inclusive profession.

At the Blackpool lights switch on event, Leona will be joined in a closed set in the Tower Ballroom by the show hosts, Ashley and Jordan Banjo, Blackpool-born singer-songwriter Rae Morris, and the Illuminations’ creative curator Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.

This year’s Illuminations, which will be presented under a theme of Bring On The Light, will celebrate the unstinting work of the NHS, key workers and other outstanding individuals during the coronavirus pandemic, with the famous Golden Mile featuring a display of hearts and rainbows.

A further 48 corona heroes will have illuminated images of themselves included within that section. They were chosen from hundreds of nominations from across the UK.

The switch-on moment in the ballroom will be part of an hour-long streamed event that will be freely accessible on VisitBlackpool and MTV channels. It will feature at-home performances by Melanie C, Becky Hill, Fleur East, Tom Grennan, Joel Corry, as well as a performance by Diversity.

The show will start at 8.30pm on Friday 4 September and can be viewed at: visitblackpool.com/switchonyoutube.com/mtvinternational and facebook.com/mtvmusicuk

Leona Harris is a nurse from Rossendale has worked as a COVID-19 frontline nurse at Fairfield Hospital in Bury since the start of the pandemic.  Not only that, she has helped raise £75,000 and bought i-Pads for patients in hospitals, care homes, and hospices all over Britain to keep isolated patients and families connected. Her remarkable efforts earned her the nickname of “The Angel from the North”.

Pictured: Leona Harris