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Light The North lighthouse pays tribute to hard-working NHS staff

NHS staff

NHS Grampian Endowment Fund’s lighthouse – embellished with artworks created by NHS staff – will shine a light for hard-working nurses, doctors and other members of staff.

The lighthouse is part of Clan’s Light The North trail which unveiled 50 eye-catching 2.5m tall lighthouses across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Orkney and Shetland earlier this month.

Three artists were commissioned to collaborate with NHS workers to create a tribute for the NHS staff who continue to work tirelessly during the coronavirus crisis.

NHS staff took part in Zoom workshops to help create lighthouse artwork

Emily Utter, Neal MacDonald and Donna McCracken – who are part of Roxburgh House’s art team – organised a number of Zoom workshops with NHS workers during the pandemic.

Pictured from left are Emily Gray of NHS staff, Donna McCracken and Emily Utter of Grampian Hospitals Art Trust, Lorraine Manchini of NHS staff, Fiona Fernie Head of Clan, Sheena Lonchay of NHS Grampian Charities and Luan Grugeon of NHS Grampian Endowment Fund.

An incredible array of NHS staff from nurses, doctors, surgeons, Covid vaccinators, dieticians, administrators, health care workers to psychologists and occupational therapists took part in the online events.

Emily said: “We had sent them materials ahead of the workshop and then during the Zoom event we had an art and writing session with them. We then asked them to send us either the hard copy or copies of the art or writing that they did during those sessions.”

Following the virtual workshops, Emily and her team used the written and visual pieces to create a collage which was later put on the lighthouse. Around 4o NHS staff took part in the online craft class, but even more returned their creations to be included in the lighthouse artwork.

NHS workers are ‘shining light of hope’

Fiona Fernie, Clan’s head of income generation and business development, was “delighted” to involve NHS Grampian staff in Light The North.

little lights
Fiona Fernie, Clan’s head of income generation and business development.

She said: “We are so incredibly grateful for their care and support in the best of times, but particularly during the last year. We had the idea to create this lighthouse to commemorate and recognise their incredible contribution to the country throughout the pandemic.

“Like Clan and our lighthouses, we believe that our NHS workers are a shining light of hope and inspiration to us all.”

‘Proud’ of what NHS Grampian achieved

The writer-in-residence said: “We wanted to create a tribute specifically to the NHS staff and what it ended up being was a real emphasis on their pandemic and lockdown experiences.

“When you look at the lighthouse, it doesn’t look “medical” – it’s very much what the staff felt going through the pandemic.”

NHS community mental health nurse Emily Gray, who participated in the workshops, said: “I am immensely proud to be part of this beautiful homage for the NHS throughout the pandemic, what we have been through, what we have achieved together and thanking the people that supported us along the way.

nhs staff
The NHS lighthouse is currently on display in Aberdeen’s Victoria Park.

“This project offered many NHS staff the opportunity to take time for ourselves and reflect on what this last year has meant for our patients, family, friends and ourselves.

“I am proud of what we have all achieved within NHS Grampian and it is amazing that all our ideas have been brought together to create a work of art and memory so beautiful.”

The 2.5m sculpture called Outpost is located in Victoria Park – near the chessboard.

Check out where you can see all the 50 lighthouses on our interactive map below:

At the end of this year’s 10-week Light The North sculpture trail, all main lighthouses will be auctioned off to raise funds for the charity so that it can continue supporting people affected by cancer.

If you wish to support the charity now, you can do so by purchasing a T-shirt, travel mug or a pet bandana in the Light The North shop in Bon Accord as well as online.

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