Three Cumbrian NHS workers have been honoured for their efforts during the pandemic by having races at Carlisle Racecourse’s Ladies Night named after them.
Tracy Wharton, Barbara McCready and Tommy Sendall were guests for the city’s most glamorous night of the year on Monday, August 1.
The event in Durdar was sponsored by VL Aesthetics for the second year running. Cumbria’s leading medical aesthetics clinic based in Kingmoor chose the trio and also has races named after some of its treatments.
All three were nominated for NHS Worker of the Year at the Pride of Cumbria awards in June with Tracy named the winner.
The Senior Community Staff Nurse came back from retirement during the pandemic; Barbara, an advanced specialist physiotherapist, was instrumental in a long Covid clinic while Tommy stepped up from his role as a porter to become a healthcare assistant.
Tracy, from Irthington, said her grandmother Mary Craik, a fan of horse racing, would have been particularly pleased for her.
“It was a lovely surprise to have a race named after myself as well as my colleagues,” she said.
“It’s very unexpected but a lovely tribute which reflects the contribution that each and every healthcare worker in the NHS makes on a daily basis.
“I would like to thank all the hardworking NHS staff and of course VL Aesthetics for the recognition they have given in support of our efforts.
“My grandma loved horse racing and actually had a racehorse. She would have been especially thrilled. She particularly liked grey horses so I might have a small flutter on one on the day in memory of her.”
Barbara, from Lowry Hill, added: “Being nominated for the NHS Pride of Cumbria awards alongside Tracy and Tommy was an honour, and to now have horse races named after us on Ladies Night is such a lovely, kind gesture which I am so very grateful for.
“I would like to thank VL Aesthetics for their support in making this happen.
“Working for the NHS over the course of the pandemic has been the most challenging time for myself and many others within the NHS and local community.
“As an NHS family we have stood together side by side to help support each other to enable us to care for those that need us the most. Personally, I could not have got through this time without my amazing NHS work family, as well as the support of my own family and friends.
“I am proud to have been able to showcase a small part of what makes the NHS an amazing institution.”
Tommy, of Scotland Road, Carlisle, described it as an “immensely unique feeling”.
“It’s a proud opportunity and there’s a feeling of appreciation,” he said.
Vanessa Brown, managing director of VL Aesthetics, said it had been a privilege to choose the NHS workers.
“We always like to give back to the local community which we feel is very important to do as a company.
“We have also helped to support NHS workers throughout the pandemic, gifting face masks due to their skin quality deteriorating as a result of PPE and also doing a special discount only for NHS staff on Dermalux treatments.”
The VL Aesthetics Ladies Night at Carlisle Racecourse is the only meeting in the country with all female jockeys.
The first race on Monday is at 5.30pm and the last at 8.45pm after which actor and Spandau Ballet member Martin Kemp will perform an exclusive DJ set.