What began as some well-earned respite for health workers in the UK has since spread its wings in the US earlier this month. Project Wingman, for those who don’t know, is the fantastic initiative provided by Airline Crew volunteers to give NHS workers a safe haven from the continued pressures COVID-19 has put them under. From lounge areas for NHS staff to relax in, to special deliveries being carried out to hospitals around the UK, Project Wingman has been a bright light in what has otherwise been a trying time for UK health workers, and now, this support system has begun its next chapter in New York.
The US launch has begun with two hospitals near the busiest airports, LaGuardia (LGA) and John F. Kennedy International (JFK). Anders Lindström, Founder and Chair of Project Wingman USA, has deemed the lounges that have been created under this initiative as a “much needed oasis” for hospital staff, not only taking them away from the relentless challenges of the job but also by providing them with conversation and companionship outside of the medical bubble. Similarly, the volunteers, who hail from companies such as American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group also get to enjoy a renewed sense of purpose and help the people on the frontline in tangible and rewarding ways.
When asked about the future of Project Wingman, Anders Lindström has talked about expanding the campaign not only in New York City but across the country too, with volunteers of any sort welcome to apply and a GoFundMe page set up for donations.
Despite it being a drastically turbulent year so far, stories like the above give hope to many and prove beyond a doubt that it’s in togetherness and kindness where we can truly make a difference. #TogetherWeStand