Frontline NHS staff captured in Norfolk nurse's "health heroes" paintings

Wendy Kimberley has produced 51 canvas of health care staff working across hospitals and the community in Norfolk and beyond.

Wendy Kimberley has produced 51 canvas of health care staff working across hospitals and the community in Norfolk and beyond. - Credit: Wendy Kimberley

A Norfolk nurse and self-taught artist has completed a half-century of portraits of NHS health heroes.

Wendy Kimberley, from Little Melton, started the project last spring as a way to thank health workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mrs Kimberley, who works at Wymondham Health Centre, has completed 51 portraits to date and said she hopes it can lift morale at a busy and stressful time.

The self-taught painter has also had the honour of seeing separate artwork presented to the Queen for her private collection and has painted staff from across Norfolk to as far as Wales, Liverpool and London.

The portraits are made up of health care staff from Norfolk, London, Liverpool and Wales following nominations by...

The portraits are made up of health care staff from Norfolk, London, Liverpool and Wales following nominations by colleagues and family members. - Credit: Wendy Kimberley

Mrs Kimberley said: "In the community a lot of my patients are anxious and feeling isolated or forgotten. Sometimes I am the only person they have seen to speak to in days due to shielding. The work load has increased and it is normal to finish late most shifts. I  felt a bit apprehensive about being redeployed somewhere else in the trust if needed, but that has not happened yet. I work with an amazing team and everyone is pulling together and supportive, but that is generally what you find within the NHS I think.

Wendy's daughter Laura Brenner is an A&E doctor and was one of the first paintings.

Wendy's daughter Laura Brenner is an A&E doctor and was one of the first paintings. - Credit: Wendy Kimberley

Lorraine Amies, housekeeper in the Opthomology Department at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Lorraine Amies, housekeeper in the Opthomology Department at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. - Credit: Wendy Kimberley

Dr Amy Kingston from the James Paget university Hospital 

Dr Amy Kingston from the James Paget university Hospital - Credit: Wendy Kimberley

"It is what I have loved the most about portraits for NHS heroes. The nominations for colleagues or loved ones and the stories behind some of them. Some are very moving, all are uplifting. It has been a real privilege to shine a light on individual staff members." 

Theresa Myhill, a community nurse at Norfolk Community Health Care, 

Theresa Myhill, a community nurse at Norfolk Community Health Care, - Credit: Wendy Kimberley

Claire Williamson, Healthcare Assistant in A&E at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Claire Williamson, Healthcare Assistant in A&E at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. - Credit: Wendy Kimberley


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In addition to painting NHS colleagues, she has received her own canvas, painted by Suffolk artist David Gillingwater, after being nominated by her husband.

Wendy Kimberley with her collection of NHS health hero canvas and her own canva.

Wendy Kimberley with her collection of NHS health hero canvas and her own canva. - Credit: Wendy Kimberley

Dr William Nottcutt, a doctor at James Paget , lecture at UEA, and specialist in palliative medicine.

Dr William Nottcutt, a doctor at James Paget , lecture at UEA, and specialist in palliative medicine. - Credit: Wendy Kimberley

Mrs Kimberley, who was inspired to train after the treatment she received when diagnosed with thyroid cancer, said: "Painting is definitely still my go to place. It always has been.

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"I can just lock myself away for a couple of hours and get lost in creating something beautiful. I love trying to capture light and emotion in my art.

"I can't imagine how hard it is in the hospitals at the moment.

Jack Walker, student paramedic, UEA and East of England Ambulance.

Jack Walker, student paramedic, UEA and East of England Ambulance. - Credit: Wendy Kimberley

Carolyn Fowler, Director of Nursing , Norfolk Community Health Care and NHS Trust.

Carolyn Fowler, Director of Nursing , Norfolk Community Health Care and NHS Trust. - Credit: Wendy Kimberley

"I had to take my dad for his covid jab last week and everyone was smiling and it was a definite feeling of camaraderie in the unit. It's the reason why I became a nurse in the first place."

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