Coronation Street star Katie McGlynn backs The Sun’s Who Cares Wins Appeal after cancer storyline opened her eyes to NHS


MY experience of playing Sinead Tinker with her cervical cancer storyline in Coronation Street opened my eyes to the NHS.

I worked closely with a lot of professionals and nurses who helped patients first-hand and had seen the reality of life on the front line of our vital health services.

The actress has backed HOAR’s £1million Who Cares Wins appeal after working with NHS professionals during her Coronation street cancer storyline

I thought I knew what working for the NHS meant, but until I came to know those staff personally I really had no idea about the lengths they go to, pushing themselves to go above and beyond their duty every week of every year to save people’s lives.

I remember one conversation with one of the nurses and after a scene I’d shot for ­Corrie, she turned to me and said of the role: “‘I don’t know how you can do that.”

Of course there’s no comparison and I said to her: “I ­honestly don’t know how you can do your job.”

She put it down to that ­feeling of positivity, knowing you’ve helped people, but it’s so much more than that.

As I told her: “You’re like an angel in my eyes.” They’d tell me about their day-to-day life and experiences.
Frequently dealing with the worst experience a family can be faced with, they are there at the very end of someone’s life, making it as comfortable as possible and never losing their own determination to keep helping to the last and beyond that for their families.

Katie says the experience of playing Sinead Tinker with her cervical cancer storyline in Coronation Street opened her eyes to the NHS

The cervical cancer storyline opened Katie’s eyes to all the wonderful work NHS staff do

Things such as washing and changing the patients, making sure they’re comfortable, ­constantly watching them, even when you know there is no hope of them pulling through — and always with a smile on their face.

They’re not like real people. They’re like angels who swoop in and try to make it their best last days of their life. They’d go so far and beyond their duty.

When I began preparing for the cervical cancer storyline on Corrie, in which Sinead would eventually die, I went to get my smear test.

I knew one would be due around the time that I was doing it — and of course the letter arrived right in the ­middle of filming the scenes. I raced for an appointment as soon as I could.

And it was really bizarre. The nurse didn’t have a clue what I was doing in my job, because it was so far in advance of it actually being on TV, so I was sat there terrified because cervical cancer was so huge in my mind at the time. I began to panic about the results, fearing the worst because of everything I’d heard and learned about recently.

The staff there made my experience really comfortable. They see stuff like that every day — not just at times of ­national crisis or emergencies, but every day, every week.

When the spotlight moves away, they keep going, working as hard and selflessly as ever.

The nurses I met while ­filming those storylines saw patients like close friends.

The care was genuine and they built up an incredible relationship with those they were helping.

With limited resources, and often on low wages, they deliver every single time — and they have never needed our help more than they do now.

That’s why I’m clapping for the NHS every Thursday. But we can do more.

Showing our support in ­public is a huge boost for these incredible workers — and vital in the middle of this crisis — but for those of us who can, please dig a little deeper.

Katie is urging Sun readers to back the Who Cares Wins appeal

Please support HOAR’s appeal to give a little back.

These incredible staff are putting their lives on the line daily, helping people they don’t even know, at risk of getting infected or taking the virus home to their family members.

Away from hospitals, smaller organisations and charities are also being driven to the brink by this crisis.

They’re desperate to continue their vital work, but struggling more than ever because fundraising events have been ­cancelled, charity shops are closed and people’s minds are elsewhere.

For the storyline, I worked with the charity Mummy’s Star, which cares for women and their families during ­pregnancy, and right now they are desperate.

The community of mums they had built up has been pulled apart, and while their staff are fantastic and trying everything possible to continue supporting mums — some of whom are desperately ill — there are many difficult times ahead and things will get worse for them.

People are saying: “Oh, we can’t go out, all the bars are shut, or the restaurants are shut, you can’t see you family and friends.”

But it’s easy to forget about the members of society who are really, really struggling.

We don’t mean to be selfish but we all do it. Our minds are on so many other things, but that’s why it has never been so necessary.

So please, give whatever you can in these incredibly difficult times — and support our amazing frontline carers who have looked after us for so long. Now it’s our turn.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here