Hi, This is Shobna Gulati and I will be reading a story for Gratitude, a wonderful public art installation, which commemorates and celebrates the stories of this extraordinary moment in time and pays tribute to all of our key workers from across the country.
Artist Karis Viola Lambert honours hospital doctors, GPs, dentists and teachers in her Gratitude sculpture, just some of the key workers that the design’s commissioner, Wesleyan Assurance Society, has been supporting for 180 years.
The Birmingham company asked their team to nominate their Gratitude Heroes, and these are the stories behind two of the faces on their sculpture.
‘MEET OUR GRATITUDE HEROES’
Claire Bell and her children reckoned local school teacher Gavin Allers deserved to be one of the portraits on the sculpture.
“Mr Allers is the teacher we felt deserved our gratitude most out of all the wonderful teachers at Gorsemoor Primary School. He was unfailingly positive throughout the pandemic and consistently encouraged the children to complete their remote schooling activities, and showed enthusiasm for a healthy lifestyle by providing ideas and activities to inspire the children (and their families!) to exercise and eat well. He was our very own Joe Wicks!
Mr Allers helped to keep us positive even when lockdowns were getting tiresome. My child was a very reluctant reader, but Mr Allers transformed him into a child who actively enjoys getting lost in a good book. He did this by sharing his own love of reading, and also by encouraging the children to use their skills to be a reading mentor to another child. He is a firm favourite in our household as a result.
We were delighted to see Mr Allers’ reaction when we told him the good news about his nomination and selection, he was very flattered and told us it had ‘made his day’.”
Jeevan Virk felt his old friend Devyani Bhatt should be one of the faces celebrated by the sculpture.
“Dev is a junior doctor at Russell’s Hall Hospital, in Dudley, and she’s been constantly working throughout the pandemic. I’ve not heard her complain once about the hard work she’s been undertaking; instead, she approaches every situation with a level-headed and pragmatic rationale, and with a constant smile on her face – much like when we were growing up.
She has a very demanding job. She cares for end of life patients, providing emotional and physical support for otherwise very isolated patients. Her can-do, “just get on with it” attitude has been truly admirable.
She’s also had to take great care to protect her loved ones by shielding from vulnerable friends and family members in what is already quite an isolating time. She says she feels incredibly privileged to be on our sculpture, representing the phenomenal dedication and sacrifice made by each and every healthcare worker during this pandemic. And we’re incredibly proud of her, too.”
The whole Wesleyan team is grateful for the opportunity to work with Karis on a sculpture that gives special thanks to the Gratitude heroes they’ve been helping to look after for 180 years.
Thank you for listening to this story. For more stories and information on Gratitude, please visit: www.thisisgratitude.co.uk