May 27, 2022

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Barnsley hospital ICU staff awarded Freedom of the Borough

Barnsley hospital ICU staff awarded Freedom of the Borough

Intensive care staff at Barnsley Hospital have been given Freedom of the Borough for their services in the town during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Tom Wenham said staff were “really thrilled” to receive the award.

Freedom of the Borough is the highest honour a local authority can bestow, recognising a person’s services and the high esteem in which they are held.

Actress Katherine Kelly and sculptor Graham Ibbeson were also awarded the honour.

“For the Barnsley people and the council to give ICU staff this award we’re really honoured,” said Dr Wenham.

“It means a lot to us. We’ve been through a lot over the last few years.”

Lead nurse Leanne Battler said the pandemic has been “a rollercoaster”.

“It’s been tough, but as a team, with the community’s support, we’ve flourished and got through,” she said.

Originally Freedom of the Borough meant a person had privileges such as being able to graze sheep through a town, but it has become a symbolic civic accomplishment. In June 2020, Northampton bestowed the honour on the NHS.

Barnsley’s latest recipients include cricketer Katherine Brunt, actress Katherine Kelly, and Mat Wright MBE founder and artistic director of Barnsley Youth Choir.

Barnsley artist and sculptor Graham Ibbeson, who created a Covid-19 memorial for the town in recognition of all those that lost their lives and as a tribute to key workers of the pandemic, also received the award.

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