29 Jan 2021
Project Wingman is proud to announce the delivery of its first mobile well-being lounge. This lounge allows the charity to be truly
accessible to all NHS staff, without the need for physical hospital space, regardless of where in the country the hospital is based.
This mobile lounge will provide a relaxed, informal and versatile space in which to deliver the well-being service, manned by an
multitude of local aircrew volunteers reaching many frontline staff. The spacious bus offers plenty of room to move about with its
raised upper deck roof; a fully fitted kitchen makes preparation of hot refreshments straightforward; and a fabulous outside space to
relax and unwind under the awning.
The Wingman Lounge will operate from a fully converted and branded double decker bus procured from and maintained by SEC
Operations Ltd, who have supported the charity since the inception of the mobile service concept.
Paul Chapman, Managing Director of SEC Operations Ltd commented “It has been a heart-warming experience working with
Project Wingman on this bus refurbishment venture. As a company, we are thrilled to be working beside them, supplying,
designing and operationally managing the bus as it supports our hard-working NHS staff through these unprecedented times.”
At the end of 2020, in collaboration with a number of business’ and organisations, the charity raised an incredible £25,000 that has
enabled the purchasing and readiness of the first bus. Bus operator Stagecoach South East, generously donated the painting of
the bus in the charity’s colours prior to its landing.
Matthew Arnold, Business Development Director of Stagecoach South East, said: “We understand that finding the space to host
support lounges has been a challenge and we are delighted to have played our part in this worthy cause by painting the vehicle at
our workshop in Eastbourne.”
Rich Griffin from Project Wingman agreed “Taking delivery of our first well-being bus has been an incredible journey and a huge
collaborative effort for the charity; the support and guidance of SEC and Stagecoach South East in this journey cannot be
underestimated. On behalf of Project Wingman, I’d like to extend our sincerest thank you”.
The charity comprises a group of current and former air crew from all corners of aviation, united by their profession and dedicated
to serving our NHS staff now and in the future. Inviting frontline workers to join crew in Wingman Lounges, where the uniformed
teams serve refreshments and take the time to talk. Providing a space to unwind, de-compress and de-stress during often difficult,
demanding shifts. Project Wingman has successfully launched and operated lounges in over eighty NHS hospitals in all nations of
the UK. All our lounges are manned by thousands of dedicated aircrews, supporting up to 650 frontline staff daily, in each lounge.
This vital service has been hugely popular and beneficial to NHS staff. The success and impact the lounges have had on staff
morale has put well-being at the top of senior NHS trust managers agendas.
Mr Arnold continues “My former colleagues and friends have been affected by the desperate situation the aviation industry currently
finds itself in. Project Wingman is an excellent initiative which allows redundant talent to help relieve extraordinary pressures off of
NHS staff. We would like to wish the staff all the very best and hope this scheme can really benefit all those involved – particularly
the NHS staff who have been in the most unimaginable situation since this pandemic begun.”
Professor Rob Bor, an original founder confirms; echo’s “Project Wingman is a unique and practical demonstration of how front-line
health care workers can be supported at a time of considerable professional and personal stress. The relevance of aircrew’s unique
skill set is to provide listening and well-being support”.
The mobile lounge service will start its journey at the Homerton University Hospital in Hackney at the beginning of February, this
incredible facility will then travel the country putting NHS Staff well-being “on wheels”.
Financial support is gracefully received via the charities crowdfunding page at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/wingmanwheels