3 July 2020

Nurse’s portrait unveiled to celebrate NHS Heroes

A portrait of Staff Nurse Tasha Rainsley, which was painted by local artist Ian Goldsmith as part of a national celebration of NHS Heroes, has been unveiled outside the critical care unit at Eastbourne DGH where she was redeployed to as part of the Trust’s Covid-19 response.

Staff Nurse, Tasha Rainsley

Staff Nurse, Tasha Rainsley

Tasha was nominated by a colleague after being redeployed to work in critical care during Covid-19. She was randomly chosen, to be the subject of a portrait, from 53 nominated staff and teams across the Trust.

On seeing the portrait for the first time Tasha Rainsley 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.

“I would like to express my gratitude to my colleague Maria for nominating me. I am an Ophthalmic Nurse and was redeployed to Critical Care to care for 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. There have been some sad moments but there has been amazing, phenomenal moments, seeing people so poorly leave the unit with us all clapping and cheering. Everyone has played their part and been 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 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. 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 was 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.”