Tui Airways cabin crew will be deployed across hospitals nationwide supporting a new St John Ambulance initiative to help tackle coronavirus by relieving pressure on the NHS.
The St John Ambulance Covid-19 volunteering scheme will place trained volunteers into essential NHS wards and departments to free up staff to fight the crisis on the frontline.
They will support with a range of tasks, from caring for the elderly to basic monitoring of patients, transporting medication and maintaining cleanliness and hygiene, helping keep the NHS running as smoothly as possible during the pandemic.
Volunteers will receive two days training provided by St John Ambulance, designed to complement the cabin crew training they have already undertaken, including first aid.
Tui Airways flew home its final passengers last weekend and operations are now paused until travel restrictions can be relaxed.
More than 2,400 cabin crew waiting to fly again are to use their skills to support the NHS.
The airline’s managing director Dawn Wilson said: “Our cabin crew are uniquely placed to support this scheme.
“Of course, their first aid training will be an advantage, but the most important skills are the ability to keep calm under pressure, have a real empathy for people who need support and be ready to put a patient’s welfare first.
“This could be a job advert for Tui cabin crew who have all these abilities in abundance.”
Jon Knight, director at St John Ambulance, said: “We’re delighted to work in partnership with Tui to create opportunities for first aid trained staff to volunteer for St John Ambulance to support their local communities and reduce pressure on the NHS.
“We really need more businesses to let their trained staff volunteer in this crisis.
“St John Ambulance needs the support of the public, businesses and clarity from the government to let volunteers volunteer more than ever as we enter our biggest operation in our 143-year history.”