Pete McKee: Sheffield's most iconic artist leads Christmas campaign to thank the NHS - and stars in Love Actually parody

"We know it’s a tough time for everyone. For those who perhaps aren’t able to give money, we hope that they give thanks to our wonderful NHS"
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Sheffield Hospitals Charity are partnering with artist and Sheffield legend Pete McKee to launch their Christmas campaign.

The Charity is launching Sheffield’s Big Christmas Thank You, encouraging people to send a personal message of thanks to local NHS staff.

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Supporters across the City will receive a letter from Pete McKee telling his story about the care he received following an emergency heart operation at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital. 

Pete McKee takes part in a famous Love Actually scene parody.Pete McKee takes part in a famous Love Actually scene parody.
Pete McKee takes part in a famous Love Actually scene parody.

They will also receive a keepsake postcard reproduction of a painting which was inspired by his time on the ward.

Pete McKee said: “I’ll be eternally grateful to that team and to the whole of the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS team. I hope that you’ll join me in saying a huge thank you to them all. 

“When times are tough, a few kind words can make a huge difference. And the same is true of your generous support for Sheffield Hospitals Charity”.

Say Thanks to NHS postcard, designed by Pete McKee.Say Thanks to NHS postcard, designed by Pete McKee.
Say Thanks to NHS postcard, designed by Pete McKee.
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To support the campaign, Pete stars in a parody of a well-known scene from Love Actually, filmed on the unit where Pete was looked after. 

He said: “I finally got the chance to live out my childhood dream and for a very brief moment become an actor! 

“I’m forever indebted to the NHS and the wonderful staff, so I jumped at the opportunity to help raise a smile and some much-needed funds for the charity”. 

People can leave a thank you message online, send by post, or drop into Sheffield Cathedral to hang a message on the Sheffield Hospitals Charity Christmas tree, inspired by Pete’s National Hug Service design.

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Beth Crackles, Chief Executive at Sheffield Hospitals Charity, said: “All of us in Sheffield know and love Pete. 

“We’re grateful to him for sharing his story of life-saving surgery and care at the Northern General and asking the people of Sheffield to say their own thank you to the NHS this Christmas.

“This year, we wanted to create a Christmas campaign that was uplifting. Of course, we’re fundraising for our hospitals, but we know it’s a tough time for everyone. For those who perhaps aren’t able to give money, we hope that they give thanks to our wonderful NHS”.