Coronavirus - Who Are the Heroes? - A Photography Project
Nominations Are Now Open
If you would like to nominate someone as a hero please use the button below.
All I could do is pace up and down the lonely corridor waiting for any news of what was happening
A Thank You To The Heroes
As a photographer who is locked in isolation I find it difficult feeling that I am just sat watching as those unsung heroes go out to work each and every day. Not only those who work in the NHS but also those people who are putting themselves at risk to keep everything going so that I can have food on the table and something on TV to keep me entertained.
We recognise the doctors and nurses in the NHS every Thursday with our one social event of the week, the NHS Clap For Heroes. Who else though is helping keep us safe in this fight against this coronavirus that has invaded our homes and the way that we live?
As I sit here and think about all of those involved it reminds me of the feeling I had when my son was born. During the birth there was a complication as I was rushed out of the room to stand helpless in the corridor. All I could do is pace up and down the lonely corridor waiting for any news of what was happening.
It’s that same feeling I have now. I pace (or sit) around my flat hearing about what these unsung heroes are doing. Shut in by the lockdown I feel useless and unable to do anything apart from think, “Who are these unsung heroes?”
Who are these unsung heroes?
The NHS Clap For Heroes
Each Thursday we go out join in the NHS Clap For Heroes and applaud those who risk their health to save ours. For many it sounds as though this has now gone beyond a simple clap. Standing outside the flat I can hear the orchestra of sounds singing their praise. The pans being bashed by an eager child, the car horns and the fireworks all coming together to exclaim our gratitude to the NHS.
Who though is it that comes to mind when you think of those on the frontline facing this COVID-19 pandemic that has struck our lives in such a vicious way?
If you are like me those first thoughts of would be of the doctors and nurses who endanger themselves to be with the infected patients, helping them through the stages of the virus. Almost forgotten are those who are also in hospital with other conditions or injuries. The ambulance drivers and paramedics who we often see, blue lights blazing, rushing to yet another emergency.
As your mind wandered off to those hospitals, fuelled by images from Casualty and Holby City, did you spare a moment for those other support staff? The ones in the offices, often hidden behind closed doors, fingers weary as they complete another part of the endless paperwork. The hospital cleaners as they constantly fight their battle to keep the corridors and wards free from the dirt and germs continuously waging its own siege upon the building, staff, patients and visitors. The porters as they transport and entertain the never-ending influx of patients along the long lonely corridors.
the ones who are showing that true virtue of being a champion of heroes
Are They The Only Heroes?
As I sit in my flat and ponder about all of those hospital staff I realise that they are not the only heroes that are enabling me to survive this period of self isolation.
I’m not going hungry, the bin is empty and I can hear the sound of the council workers cleaning the road outside as I watch TV. These are also the champions that are making my time confined to these few rooms more comfortable. There is so much more being done by so many more people than you would believe if you simply listened to the news.
The farmers and factory workers who produce the range of food that is waiting for me on the shelves in the supermarkets and local shops. The shop workers themselves who ensure that my shopping experience is as comfortable and safe as it can be.
The BT man who, I don’t know why, is always doing something with the junction box outside my window. Without him I would not be able to be writing this article or watching my favourite films or boxsets.
The broadcasters on the radio and presenters on TV that are always there with a friendly voice that stops me from becoming lonely.
These people and so many more are the ones who are showing that true virtue of being a champion of heroes. These are the people we need to recognise, not only on a Thursday at 8pm, but every day.
the ones who are showing that true virtue of being a champion of heroes
The Unknown Warrior
In November 1920 and unknown soldier was laid inside a coffin and then buried in Westminster Abbey. The idea of laying the unknown soldier to rest in such a way was the brainchild of Reverend David Railton. The idea being was that this body would represent the hundreds and thousands of soldiers who had sacrificed their lives try to save the lives of those who remained at home.
With the body being unidentified this Unknown Warrior also offered a glimmer of hope to those who had lost their loved ones without the body ever being recovered. In some small way it offered a point of mourning for those who had someone who didn’t return.
For those who are reading and thinking that I have got off track don’t panic there is a meaning behind the story of the Unknown Warrior and our heroes of today.
Give The Heroes A Face
Whenever I think about the Unknown Warrior I realise how important he was. Although only a select few saw the body inside the coffin, the Unknown Warrior offered a ‘face’ to those who needed something to hold onto.
With the war that we are facing now against COVID-19 has some of what is going on lost it’s value? As we stand on the doorstep clapping our hands and banging pots and pans has, for some of us, it simply become a source of social interaction?
Does not having someone in mind affect the meaning that we have behind our actions at our front door?
For many of us we will know at least one person who is a keyworker. There will however be some of us who do not know anyone who is either a keyworker or who has been affected by the virus.
Just as the Unknown Warrior was so important for those affected by the war all those years ago, it is just as important that we now have a face, or faces, for those who are fighting this current battle that we are living through against Coronavirus. People who when we go out to show our appreciation we would be able to visualise in our minds. Faces that would bring back into our minds the personal aspect of this current struggle instead of the facts and figures that are constantly portrayed on our screens or in the papers.
People who when we go out to show our appreciation we would be able to visualise in our minds
Let What You Do Be Seen
There are so many COVID-19 champions all around us it would be impossible to show each and every one of them. That should not stop us giving some faces to our heroes.
In the title I did state that this article would also be about a photography project not just about tell you what you already know. It’s not just about telling you that there are heroes out there and that we should be supporting the NHS.
As a photographer who feels restricted in what he can do I would like to give all of those places of work, the hospitals, the shops, the schools and the community projects the opportunity to show us your heroes.
Through doing so you will not only be able to raise awareness of what you are doing but also help to recognise those who have been fighting so hard to keep the rest of us safe.
This is that opportunity to make this war personal again and help to engage further with the conflict against COVID-19. This is your opportunity to give a face to those unknown heroes.
How To Get Involved?
The photography project is about adding a face to the heroes of this war.
My aim is to capture a portrait of those individuals who are standing firm on our frontline. These images will then be used to add a face to what we are all doing to help.
If you are one of those hospitals, shops, schools or community projects I would love to hear from you. All you need to do is contact me and let me know what it is you are doing. Due to the current social distancing I will then either ask that you send me some photos of those involved or arrange with you a place and time where I can come along and take some portraits.
Each portrait will then be shared, with details of what you are doing, in the hope that by adding a face to the heroes we are able to reach out and raise more much needed financial help for the NHS.
If you would like to be involved in his project please complete the form below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.