At 6:30am on December 8 2020 history was made at University Hospital, Coventry. The world watched as Margaret Keenan became the first person in the world to be vaccinated against Covid-19 outside of clinical trials. Margaret and Matron May Parsons suddenly became global superstars, and coincidentally, so did our UHCW Charity Christmas T Shirt!

Having been in hospital for a while, Margaret was delighted to be asked to receive the first vaccine, but was understandably reluctant to be filmed in a hospital gown. UHCW Charity Director Jo O’Sullivan offered up one of our Charity Christmas T Shirts for Margaret to wear instead, and as footage of the first vaccination was shared across the world, our penguin mascot started to attract attention…

In the weeks that followed, life at UHCW Charity was a whirlwind!

Normally a Christmas T Shirt for staff to wear on the wards, sales of the T Shirt suddenly skyrocketed – going from the usual 400 to over 4000! Our Penguin, who was affectionately dubbed ‘Penguino’, gained attention from all over the world, with orders being received from New Zealand, Australia, The USA and South Korea to name a few! To date we have sold nearly 5000 T Shirts with all the money raised going towards making things better for staff, patients and their families.

We still have limited stock of our original Penguino T Shirts left! You can get your own piece of history at We also have some exciting new Penguino merchandise to come – make sure you’re the first to know about them by signing up to our newsletter.

Now 6 months on the vaccination programme is in full swing, with over 65 million doses given by the end of May. With the vaccine bringing hope and encouragement many people are now looking to the future, making plans and getting excited for what’s to come. And UHCW Charity are no different!

After a year like no other we want to celebrate our amazing NHS staff who continue to go above and beyond for us and our loved ones. The NHS Big Tea on 5 July is a chance for people to get together and show your support for your local NHS Heroes at University Hospital Coventry and Rugby St Cross. You can get involved by hosting your own tea party with friends, family or colleagues to enjoy a cuppa and some cake, all while raising funds to make things better for staff, patients and their families. Find out how to get involved by visiting

We also have an exciting auction coming up featuring T Shirts signed by Margaret Keenan, Matron May Parsons plus players from Coventry City FC and Wasps! Keep an eye on our website to find out more.

As we continue to move forward and recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, your support is more vital than ever. Thanks to you we can continue to make things better for staff, patients and their families. Find out more about how you can get involved by visiting