Next Monday (June 15) will mark something of a change to the lives of thousands of greeting card retailers, whose shops are re-opening after the 10-week closure. For Beverley Heyworth, who co-owns (with her husband John), Blue Rose Gifts and Balloons in Heywood, Lancashire hopefully it will be beckon a more relaxing working life.
Right at the beginning of lockdown, having recovered from the Covid-19 virus herself, the ever plucky card and gift retailer, Beverley volunteered to help on the NHS frontline as part of the team setting up and then on the staff at Manchester’s Nightingale Hospital, involved in bringing the patients in to the Covid-19 wards.
“Prior to opening the shop, I ran a huge warehouse and felt my logistical skills would be useful, if nothing else,” Beverley told PG Buzz.
On top of the three days a week she has spent working at the Hospital, Bev and her husband John have also been dedicating three days (12 hour shifts) a week working at a Covid-19 testing centre at Manchester City’s Ethiad Stadium.
“We adapted very fast and I am so proud to have been a part of the team. We wanted to do our bit and earn a bit while on lockdown. It has been amazing to be a part of it all, even though it was not the best of circumstances,” Beverley told PG Buzz. Among the most memorable moments during her time working at the hospital Bev picks out “seeing two hundred year old patients being discharged from the hospital having recovered from the coronavirus. There has been a lot of sadness, but triumphs too.”
Further testament to Bev’s tenacity is that in addition to her NHS frontline work, she has also kept up with the balloon orders she has received from the shop’s retail customers.
“I was always determined not to let our regulars down, or they might not be there when we re-open. And I need them!” said Bev.
As she is fully PPE trained, Bev is in no doubts that the shop (which also incorporates a newsagents) will be totally compliant with Covid-19 trading safety guidelines. “Like so many others, our shop opens on Monday, albeit with lots of changes such as screens, sanitation points and markings on the floor, but it’s adapt or close. We have to do our bit to protect our staff and customers.”
Top: Beverley Heyworth in her NHS Nightingale Hospital PPE.