A Berkshire paramedic has been featured among a series of powerful and personal portraits of NHS staff who responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, captured by acclaimed photographer Rankin to celebrate the NHS’s 72nd anniversary.
In a mark of respect and thanks to the NHS, Rankin, who has previously shot the Rolling Stones, Kate Moss and the Queen, offered to take portraits of 12 people playing a vital role in the NHS response to COVID-19.
The participants have been photographed unhidden by PPE, to reveal the people behind the masks and celebrate the individuals they are.
Alongside his portrait, Bracknell-based Stuart Brookfield, who works for South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) has shared shared his own personal story from the frontline.
Stuart said: “I feel honoured to be given the chance to take part in this campaign and to be chosen to represent all my fellow colleagues. It has been a surreal experience attending the Rankin studio in London for a photoshoot – not something you do every day in our line of work! I’m really thankful for all the support I’ve been given in order to become a paramedic and fulfil my dream and incredibly proud to be part of a national campaign for NHS workers, highlighting the significant role we all play.”
As well as SCAS paramedic, Stuart, those photographed included an ICU consultant, a COVID-19 critical care nurse, a midwife, a psychiatrist, a hospital porter, a COVID-19 ward cleaner, a GP, a pharmacist, a district nurse, a 111 call centre worker and a chief information officer. All have played a vital role in managing the response to COVID-19 and supporting people impacted by the disease.
British photographer, director and cultural provocateur, Rankin, said: “As the coronavirus pandemic began to unfold, I was moved by the incredible efforts of people across the NHS and I wanted to document who they are and their role in fighting this disease. Taking a portrait is a unique and intimate experience, even with social distancing in place. Everyone had their own inspiring story which to them was just doing their job. I hope these images portray the resilience and courage they show every day in the face of real adversity.”
The collection will be showcased across the country at bus stops, roadside billboards and iconic pedestrian areas including the world-famous Piccadilly Lights in central London this week to mark the 72nd birthday of the NHS.