Toni Rudiger has handed all his social media accounts to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for the day in a show of support for the NHS trust amid the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.
Chelsea and Germany star Rudiger has allowed hospital staff to take over his Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, as the west London NHS trust continues to push messages around Covid safety.
Centre-back Rudiger has been at pains to show thanks and solidarity to hospital staff both in the UK and Germany across the course of the pandemic.
The 29-year-old sent cakes and snacks to Chelsea and Westminster staff on his birthday, and last year had pizzas delivered to hospitals in Germany.
Rudiger is keen to help NHS and healthcare professionals continue to receive fair respect for their work, both during the pandemic and beyond.
“Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals are taking over my social media channels for one day, to show the people what they have done for us so far in the whole pandemic,” said Rudiger in a social media video.
“For me it’s important to give them more credit, the people who are working in hospitals.
“They’ve done an extremely good job for us in the past one and a half years.”
Chelsea and Westminster director Dominic Conlin hailed Rudiger for helping the hospital spread their messages in a new way.
“We are extremely grateful to Toni for his support,” said Conlin.
“It was very generous of him to celebrate his birthday with our staff with cakes and treats, thanking them for all their hard work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“And it’s fantastic that he’s shining a light on our hospital, the work we do, on our amazing staff who have worked tirelessly since the beginning of the pandemic last year.
“To know that someone like Toni is supporting you has a huge impact on our staff and the work that he – and others at Chelsea – do to support our patients makes a real difference to their care and their experience.”
Explaining how benefiting from Rudiger’s online reach will help Chelsea and Westminster, Conlin continued: “One of the things that has really become clear during the pandemic is how we need to continually refresh how we reach out to our population particularly using social media.
“Toni brings with him a huge group of followers and an amazing opportunity to connect with a group of people in an exciting way rather than when they are already sick or worried about their loved ones.
“It has been really exciting to take them on a trip around Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and we are delighted to be able to show the type and scale of work we do.
“We are really grateful to him for the opportunity to be able to introduce his fans to some of the staff who make it all happen, talk about our role as an emerging leader in health innovation, and provide and insight into the challenges of Covid and how we’re moving forwards.
“It’s also great to be able to highlight the work of our charity CW+ and our work with the community.”