Healthcare workers and medical staff at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town were today offered lunch with a difference, music by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.

The hour-long musical treat was to thank the healthcare workers and medical staff for their dedication and sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It grew out of Hospital Heroes, a movement founded by three individuals who saw the need to recognise and reward frontline healthcare workers and medical staff, as a token of appreciation for their hard work and sacrifices in the face of COVID-19.

It’s also to remember the 193 colleagues who succumbed to the virus in the Western Cape alone.

Gift of the Givers spokesperson Ali Sablay says this has been one of the most challenging times for the health profession.

“As we know the only music the health workers have been listening to over the last few months has been the beeps, the beeping of the machines. This is something to show them that the country supports them, to give them that encouragement that the country salutes them for being the true heroes of this pandemic.”

CEO of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Louis Heyneman, says it’s a joyous salute and a mark of gratitude to the health professionals throughout the country.

“We want to say with this gratitude concert we see you, we hear you, we honour you, we thank you, all over the world and in South Africa that we appreciate what they do in these difficult times.”

Health workers appreciated the treat, saying it helps to uplift their spirits.

“It was amazing. I’ve never seen a philharmonic orchestra live, the music was so great and I think it’s so much for the nurses as appreciation. I loved it, I absolutely loved it, it was great.”

“The most is the atmosphere, just to inspire your heart”.

“The music was for real, I could feel in my heart, in my soul, in my spirit, it really brings calmness over me, it’s not easy but we press through.”

Gift of the Givers also distributed gifts and goodies to healthcare workers to lift their spirits and boost morale.