Art exhibition tells Stockport NHS COVID stories

A special exhibition at Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery is telling the story of the experience of those in the NHS working through the COVID-19 pandemic

Art exhibition tells Stockport NHS COVID stories

Artists from Stockport and surrounding areas have captured the portraits of staff who work at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Stepping Hill Hospital and community services across Stockport. These staff members are a selection of the thousands who worked tirelessly through the COVID pandemic, and have told their stories in their own words.

Both clinical and non-clinical colleagues, and those working both the hospital and community are represented in the portraits, which include nursing staff, doctors, physiotherapists, domestics, and those working in procurement, pathology and the hospital mortuary.

The stories they tell give a very personal insight into the challenges and struggles which they and their colleagues faced as the height of the pandemic, and the terrible impact which the infection had on the lives of so many local people.

This project has been organised by Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, and funded by Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council as part of the COVID Community Commemoration Project, which is supporting Stockport communities to reflect on the period of the COVID pandemic.

Nic Firth, Chief Nurse for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust said “We’d like to give a huge thank you to all the artists who have done some incredible work here. It is extremely poignant and moving to see the portraits alongside the words of our colleagues who are represented by them. These were extremely hard times for all of us, and that certainly comes over in the stories. I would encourage everyone to come and see this exhibition, which offers a chance to reflect on one of the most turbulent times in modern NHS history.”

Councillor Frankie Singleton, Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture & Sport at Stockport Council, who has led the cross-party working group for the Covid Community Commemoration Project, said: “The exhibition will be a wonderful way to honour the work of all the staff who worked so hard during the pandemic to keep the NHS up and running. Everyone in our communities throughout Stockport really pulled together to help each other and show true neighbourliness during the pandemic and events like this and our other projects show how grateful we all are to everyone involved.”

The exhibition was launched with a special preview event on the evening of Thursday 7 March, and is now running at the gallery from Friday 8 March to Thursday 11 April 2024, until the artworks are returned to Stepping Hill Hospital for permanent display.

The exhibition is free to enter, and the gallery is open Thursday – Friday 1–5pm, Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 11am–4pm.