The nurse whose emotional response to Clap For Our Carers inspired me to launch the doortraits4NHS project has contacted me:
“Hi Andy… Hope you are well and taking care of yourself. I’ll like to thank you for your work and support by sharing your amazing shots with the country and our community. We’re so glad to see you at the poignant moments of the Thursdays clapping moment… I also like to thank you for your poignant photo of myself in which embarrassing enough, it’s how we really feel…. Thank you for your hard work. We’re together in all of this. Stay safe and well. Kind regards Yoshi”
From Yoshi Bunce Kawajigashi Alvarado, who adds:
” This wonderful guy is a dear doctor who survived Covid..! I kept messaging him while in ICU… He wanted to return to work..and have been inseparable at work. He was so grateful for my messages of support. We’d lost a few members a nurse, an patient transport driver.”
I have just shot my first doortrait since the end of the last lockdown. Wooly hats and jumpers instead of shorts and T-shirts this time. And instead of the harsh glare of sunlight to contend with, it is now freezing subjects on the doorstep and lens condensation.
But it was worthwhile thanks to more generous contributions to Kingston Hospital, which in common with all the frontline NHS is under severe pressure right now.
Last Thursday the Clap for Carers was revived. It all feels horribly familiar, but at least there is light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine rollout.
Thanks once again for collectively raising many thousands of pounds for the nursing staff at Kingston. The cash went to build them extra showers and a rest area.
I hope you and your families are all well. I caught Covid for Christmas. It was scary, but thankfully neither I nor my wife were seriously ill. We thought we had been pretty careful, but this new strain is reportedly much more infectious.
Anyway, I wish you a belated Happy New Year and sincerely hope we can all return to the old normality by the end of Spring.
“I wanted to express my sincere thanks to you for this thoughtful and very worthwhile initiative during these extraordinary times. It has been amazing to witness the kindness and generosity of spirit shown by individuals, local businesses and community groups over the last several weeks to Kingston Hospital and its staff, at what is clearly a very worrying and difficult time for so many people.
The monies that have been donated are enabling us to create two new areas for staff to be able to take time away from the pressures of their daily roles. We have also been upgrading existing rest areas, while repurposing some for sleep. Many staff are having to spend longer periods of time at the hospital with revised shift patterns, so having access to rest areas has become even more important.
Work is also underway to provide additional showers for staff and improve the outdoor seating areas. Looking forward we also expect to use some of the monies being donated to support the mental health and wellbeing of the staff over the coming months.
Thank you very much again for your support and for caring about Kingston Hospital. We are very grateful.
With best wishes,
Rob Aldous Interim Head KINGSTON HOSPITAL NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
Abdul Gellaledin was an ambulance care assistant in Kingston, south-west London. His job was to take patients from their homes, and care and nursing homes, to hospital and back. His family reportedly said he had been worried about Covid-19 as his requests for any form of protective gear had been “refused by his employers.”
The Guardian newspaper reports: “One day in March, he was sent to pick up a patient from hospital. They found the patient unaccompanied in a wheelchair, and coughing. When they raised concerns, they were told by a nurse she had tested negative for Covid-19. They took her home, only to realise that she needed to be carried upstairs as she had no carer at the time; Gellaledin tried to avert his face while the patient coughed. They were not told that any physical assistance would be required, and were consequently unprepared; they were also not told that another ambulance crew had already declined the assignment on the grounds it was not safe. The patient later tested positive.”
On 9 April, Gellaledin died of coronavirus after 11 days on a ventilator at Kingston Hospital. He was 53.
This is a photo a colleague took when Kingston nurse Yoshi Bunce Kawajigashi Alvarado heard the new a close friend had just been taken to St Thomas hospital ICU with covid
At the time, she says “We didn’t have any PPE.. and the head cap I’m wearing???.. it was a disposable pillow case..(!)”
Katy Jordan, is a photographer based in Winwick, Warrington:
“Spring 2020….a season we will always remember.
I have been documenting our time in ‘lockdown’ via images on my facebook page. I wanted to keep a diary to show my girls when they are older. The images have generated a huge amount of interest from clients who loved our lockdown haircuts, home workout routines & daily homeschool struggles. Families replied with images of what they had been doing and it was great to see.
I wanted to keep myself busy, do something for my local community and maybe raise some money for our precious NHS. The idea of ‘doorstep portraits’ was perfect. It seemed like the best way to capture other families time at home during this historic time.
The rules had to be pretty strict, photographs had to be taken from a distance which meant relying on my long lens. The photographs were taken as part of my daily exercise, and only in walking distance of my house. There was no dress code, dress up, dress down…just be you, as you are, right now.
Images were shared via digital download meaning no contact on deliveries.
The response was amazing, so many families jumped at the chance to document ‘ the one were they stayed home’. Dogs, cats, grannies, rainbows and two newborn babies made an appearance on their doorsteps… it was an uplifting & positive experience.
Victoria Bahadoor lives in Liverpool. She works part time at Manchester Children’s hospital as a paediatric Occupational Therapist. Her husband David is also key worker.
In June she is leaving the NHS after 15 years to pursue a full time photography career and wanted to raise some money for the hospital as a parting gift for those children and families at RMCH.
“I thought that providing a documentation of these unprecedented times for the families of Liverpool would be a nice way of spreading cheer, whilst also raising money for our wonderful NHS,” says Victoria.
People often say Londoners don’t know their neighbours. That’s certainly not been my experience in the SW of the capital. Sometimes several families on one street are taking part in the fundraiser as word of mouth spreads.
This family had just moved to England from Austin, TX as the lockdown was imposed (“Bad timing!”)