June 15, 2020 @ 13:53 by Richard Dawson
Drawings created by the children of frontline NHS staff have been put up in the Fenwick windows to pay tribute to the thousands of North East hospital staff working through the coronavirus pandemic.
The paintings and artwork were previously displayed in the corridors of the RVI, the Freeman and the Great North Children’s hospital, all part of Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Now they are the centrepiece for Fenwick’s new window display, unveiled today (June 15) to coincide with the store’s reopening.
A hand-made patchwork quilt has been created out of more than 50 of the children’s images and placed in the centre of the window.
Members of the public can also donate to the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Charity by buying Fenwick-produced tote bags, which feature two of the children’s drawings and will be sold in store and online.
Libby (age 6 from South Shields), whose mum, Sarah, is a specialist respiratory consultant and has been working on the frontline treating COVID patients for the past ten weeks, is one of the children whose ‘rainbow heart’ design was chosen for the tote bag.
She said: “It was really fun to do as I like drawing. I’ve made lots of rainbow pictures for our house and our neighbours, so I decided to make this one a bit different and made it into a heart.
“I liked using all the bright colours, and I’ve talked to mum about what the NHS is and how it is looking after people.
“My mum is a doctor and helps make poorly people better. I’m really excited to see the window and my mum is going to use one of my bags at work.”
Libby’s mum, Sarah, added: “As a mum, I am immensely proud of Libby. It is difficult for young children to understand what is happening at the minute, but Libby has coped very well with changes at school and at home, and she understands that I have to go to work to care for patients.
“Having her design chosen is absolutely amazing, and I hope that everyone continues to support the local NHS teams and staff who are still doing an incredible job to try and overcome the virus and look after everyone’s ongoing health needs.”
The Northumberland Street window display was unveiled by Dame Jackie Daniel, CEO of the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Dame Jackie said: “This is a tremendous idea and the perfect platform for everybody to fully acknowledge the children of our NHS staff who themselves have had to understand the situation as best they can, and cope with an enormous amount over the last few months.
“Their creativity and positivity shines through in every single one of the drawings, and we hope that members of the public will come and safely view their artwork.”