Stars and NHS staff call on Gateshead to host an NHS tea

QE Charitable Funds is urging NHS staff and supporters in Gateshead to ‘raise a cuppa’ and celebrate the NHS birthday on Friday 5 July.

TV’s Dr Ranj Singh and Casualty star Charles Venn were joined by NHS staff at St George’s Hospital in London to celebrate the launch of the NHS Big Tea campaign last week.

Thousands of tea parties are set to take place across the country as the nation comes together to mark the NHS birthday and raise money for NHS charities.

Now QE Charitable Funds is calling on everyone who loves the NHS to get behind the campaign and host their own tea party with friends, family and colleagues.

There are more than 250 NHS charities across the UK. Many of them focus on helping our hospitals do more, while others support mental health trusts, community health trusts and ambulance trusts.

In recent years, NHS charities have funded major capital projects, pioneering research and medical equipment, helping patients access the best possible care when they need it most. They also play a key role in mobilising volunteers to support NHS staff, brightening wards and waiting areas with colourful and engaging art, and building important links between our hospitals and our communities.

To celebrate the launch of this year’s NHS Big Tea campaign, Dr Ranj was joined by his Strictly Come Dancing co-star Charles Venn and some of his former St George’s colleagues on the hospital’s helipad in Tooting, south west London, for a special tea party event.

Dr Ranj Singh said:

“The NHS has been a huge part of my life – as it has for millions of people across the country. Our fantastic health service is the envy of the world and the NHS staff who provide such outstanding care for patients every day are extraordinary people.

“I’m delighted to raise a cuppa today to celebrate the launch of the NHS Big Tea, which is the perfect opportunity for everyone who loves our NHS to come together and say thank you.

“By hosting a tea party, you can raise money for NHS charities and show your support for their incredible work.”

Charles Venn said:

“The NHS is a national treasure for a reason - it is there for us all in our time of need, no matter what.

“That’s why I want you all to join together on 5 July and show the NHS just how much we love it, by raising a cuppa in support of NHS charities across the country. Let’s celebrate the amazing work they do day in and day out to help people and their families.”

The NHS Big Tea is an opportunity for people up and down the country to come together and toast the NHS. Everyone is encouraged to host their own tea party, invite their friends, family and colleagues, and support the vital work of NHS charities.

The campaign is being led by NHS Charities Together, which is the national association for NHS charities.

Melanie Armstrong, Charitable Funds Manager at QE Gateshead, said: “What better way to celebrate a cherished institution like the NHS than with another well-loved tradition – the cup of tea!

“By holding a Big Tea party and raising money for a hospital department that is close to your heart, you’ll be helping us to ensure that local NHS health services can provide better healthcare for tomorrow’s generation.”

Ellie Orton, CEO of NHS Charities Together, said:

“NHS charities give £1 million every day to support the NHS, playing an important role in funding major redevelopments, research and medical equipment.

“As well as mobilising volunteers and brightening wards and waiting areas with beautiful art, they also help to build links between our hospitals and our communities – giving everyone the chance to give back to the NHS.

“Whether it’s a traditional builders or a fruity rooibos, we want everyone to dust off the old china, rally their friends, family and colleagues, and come together to raise a cuppa!”

Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said:

“NHS charities provide much-needed support for patients. This in turn enables staff to take care of people when they need it the most. It would be great if everyone across the country came together on 5 July to raise a cuppa for the NHS.”

To find out more about the NHS Big Tea and to download a free tea party pack, visit