Birmingham Bears are opening their doors to over 1,000 NHS staff as the Club honours the heroes of the pandemic at the Vitality Blast fixture against Yorkshire Vikings on Wednesday 30 June.

NHS staff were able to claim free tickets as part of the Bears’ NHS Heroes campaign, which championed and thanked the efforts of staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A small number of nominated local people will also be guests of honour at the fixture and will be presented with a signed bat plus treated to VIP tickets for the match.

“The opportunity to claim tickets for the fixture is just a small token of our appreciation for the inspiration and heroic efforts from local NHS staff in the fight against COVID,” said Alex Perkins, Sales & Marketing Director.

“To us they are heroes and we look forward to welcoming them on the night and showing our appreciation for their incredible bravery.”

The ticket initiative formed part of a wider community response to the COVID pandemic from the Club and the Edgbaston Foundation.

The Edgbaston car park was transformed into a COVID test centre, the Exhibition Hall converted into a food storage and distribution hub with local charity Thrive Together Birmingham and the #Toys4Birmingham Christmas toy bank appeal.

In recent months, the Exhibition Hall has been used as a vaccination hub with thousands of vaccines authorised each day.

“We are incredibly proud that our stadium can be utilised to support the fantastic efforts being made by all of our NHS staff in response to the coronavirus crisis,” added Perkins.

“Whilst it is a small part to play in grand scheme of things, the opportunity to not only support our local community but the whole of the United Kingdom has been an honour.”

The Bears head into Wednesday’s fixture looking to cement a top four place. Mark Robinson’s side have five games remaining – with four at home – and sit just one point outside the qualification places.

Tickets for the fixture against Yorkshire Vikings are still on sale from only £19, while under 16s go FREE to all games. But be quick, only a limited number of tickets remain.

Members and Season Pass holders will be required to claim tickets, without charge, for all Vitality Blast matches this summer.