28 May 2020

Nurse’s portrait painted as part of NHS Heroes project

Staff Nurse Tasha Rainsley has had her portrait painted as part of a national celebration of NHS Heroes. Tasha was nominated by a colleague after being redeployed to work in critical care during Covid-19. From 53 nominated staff and teams across the Trust Tasha was randomly chosen.

Her portrait will form part of the national Instagram project: #portraitsfornhsheroes along with other portraits painted of NHS Heroes from across the country.

Staff Nurse Tasha Rainsley with a copy of her portrait

Staff Nurse Tasha Rainsley with her portrait

On seeing the portrait for the first time Tasha said: “I was astonished, it looked just like a photo. I want to thank Ian, the artist, so much for doing this. It really captured me and how I was feeling. You can see the marks from the PPE as I’d just come out of critical care. It’s been a really challenging time and the local community showing their support with acts of kindness like this, has really helped.”

Tasha added: “I would like to express my gratitude to my colleague Marie for nominating me. I am an Ophthalmic Nurse generally in theatres which I totally enjoy. I was redeployed to PACU /critical care, knowing I would be looking after Covid patients. A lot of my colleagues where anxious but I took it upon myself to embrace the situation and enjoy the opportunity to be part of a team and learn new skills.”

“I’ve always liked a challenge and although I am very adaptable I realise I would learn new skills, but I also know my limitations.  There are and have been some sad moments but there has been amazing, phenomenal moments, seeing people so poorly leave the unit and we all clap and cheer. I have kept in contact with several colleagues, either in shift breaks or my days off making sure they are physically and emotionally as well as my family and friends and everyone is a hero regardless of their job.”

Artist Ian Goldsmith who painted Tasha’s portrait from a photo said: “When this Coronavirus crisis started, many of us were feeling a little helpless, including a lot of the professional artists in the national portrait group I run (www.thecbpp.org). We very much wanted to help in some way. Obviously we couldn’t offer any medical help, but we could paint the people who were offering that help, the NHS staff. Thankfully while we were looking into how best we could do this, the portrait artist Tom Croft, launched the Instagram project: #portraitsfornhsheroes, which literally became an overnight success. So we partnered with Tom and offered our help.”

“The project has now grown way beyond anyone’s expectations and is, not only national, with hundreds of professional and amateur artists painting NHS staff, but has also gone global and is being replicated in other parts of the world too. It’s also very likely that the project will eventually not only have a ‘real world’ national exhibition, but a virtual one as well. I think the success of the idea just proves how much love there is out there for the NHS right now and I feel very privileged to be one of those entrusted to paint one of our local NHS heroes. I only wish we could paint them all, as they all deserved to be recorded and celebrated.”

Nurse Maria McCabe who nominated Tasha for the portrait said: “Tasha is a Staff Nurse who has been redeployed to critical care. We normally work together in Jubilee Eye Theatre. She has adapted really well to her new role and has dealt with the move with immense courage and determination to serve. I admire her so much and I feel that she deserves this.”