Meet Abbey Hendrick: a Virgin Atlantic crew supervisor working on the COVID-19 frontline

Virgin Atlantic is doing a lot to support the NHS COVID-19 response – from flying medical equipment into the UK to crew members volunteering at hospitals on the frontline.

Abbey Hendrick is a Cabin Service Supervisor who is now volunteering at her local hospital to help doctors, nurses, and patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Here’s how the experience has been so far…

Abbey Hendrick - Virgin Atlantic Cabin Crew

What is your role at Virgin Atlantic and how long have you worked for the airline?

I have been working for Virgin Atlantic for five years now and I absolutely love my job! I’m currently working as cabin crew and was lucky enough to be promoted to Cabin Service Supervisor at the beginning of the year. I can’t wait for this exciting new chapter to properly begin on the other side of COVID-19.

What do you love about your job?

I feel extremely proud to be a part of the Virgin family as it has always been a dream of mine to work for the company. Every day is always a new adventure and it’s our amazing people that make this airline shine. Everyone has really pulled together to lift one another’s spirits during this challenging time which is really inspiring to see! I know we will come through this crisis bigger, better and stronger than ever. In the meantime, it’s been amazing to see the work that our airline is doing to support the NHS.

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Can you tell us a little bit about the role you’ve picked up in the wake of COVID-19?

While we’ve reduced our flight schedule, I’ve picked up a role at my local hospital - working alongside the amazing doctors and nurses across any ward that needs the help. My role includes anything from supplying PPE equipment, providing staff drinks and meals, delivering patient belongings to the wards, and relieving the nurses by taking phone calls or helping in any way I can. I have recently been working on a ward completely dedicated to patients fighting COVID-19. It’s been an intense experience and you really see the devastating effect that the disease has on people. I feel incredibly lucky to be helping the NHS medics who are all so dedicated to their job.

What has the experience been like? Have there been any particularly memorable moments thus far?

It can be emotionally challenging, but equally rewarding to see people recover and fight back against the disease. I’m exhausted at times, but more than happy to keep going for as long as the NHS needs the support. Making a small difference each day makes it all worthwhile, even if it’s just smiling at the nurses or making them a much needed cup of tea! There has been so many memorable moments but one thing that continues to blow me away is the kindness and generosity of the public. The British spirit is definitely shining through during this challenging chapter.

Virgin Atlantic mosaic COVID-19

What inspired you to volunteer in the first place?

After seeing how devastating the coronavirus has been and how it has affected everyone in one way or another, I just wanted to help where ever I could. I am also not the type of person to sit around, so when I was given the opportunity to help at my local hospital I jumped at the opportunity.

What is it about Virgin Atlantic that you miss the most?

I love being part of the Virgin Atlantic family and I miss being in the air with everyone so much! I can’t wait for us all to be reunited. It has always been my dream to wear the famous red uniform that we all know and love. One of the things I miss the most is my second home in Orlando. I so excited to get back on our Boeing-747 aircraft, but for now I’m just happy to be supporting our healthcare workers.

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