The Team

Ash Subramanian

Ash is a consultant breast surgeon working on the sunny South Coast. Husband to the amazing Jenny, father to Kiran and Isla and step father to Bree and Rory. The challenges of the last year have not spared anyone but it’s Ash’s mission to share a bit of love and positivity at a time when it’s most needed. Ash claims to have little natural talent but enjoys an irritating amount of enthusiasm!!!

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

I started this project to try and give voices to those who may not have otherwise had ready access to another platform. It started with children and has snowballed. I also lost my mum to COVID on 15th January so this is for her.


Ad Gandhe

Ad is an Orthopaedic Surgeon and Entrepreneur that enjoys drawing and painting in his spare time. He is married to Anna and dad to Kieran and Freya. Ad has created and developed interactive teaching apps, including Touch Surgery, and is currently working on exciting new teaching technology. In his spare time, he enjoys walking his puppy Clover, cycling and DIY as well as indulging in artwork in many different mediums.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

I wanted to get involved on a project to raise money for charity and as an outlet for my work

Alice Bird

Alice is a Liverpool based consultant obstetrician. Having grown up in Shropshire, she made the move to study medicine at the University of Liverpool. Her career ambition was to be the club doctor at Liverpool Football Club, but that plan was thwarted the moment she saw a baby being born, whilst on placement in the very hospital in which she now works. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Alice has looked after many women and their families who have faced unwanted changes to their planned pregnancy and birth experiences. With the aim of providing reassurance, Alice was the face of the award winning #AskAlice campaign, which involved production of a series of video messages to keep pregnant women and their families engaged and up to date with current advice and guidance. Married with one son, Alice has enjoyed the enforced slowing down of life (outside of work!) that has come with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

I initially became involved in the project to give a voice to women who have been pregnant during the pandemic. On a personal level, I have really enjoyed being part of something ‘different’ that has brought together people from all walks of life, united by the same purpose.

Alice Paine

Alice was Ash Subramanian’s secretary at the Conquest Hospital for almost 6 years until she relocated to Cardiff in July 2020 to be near her son, son-in-law and two grandchildren. This was towards the end of the first lockdown and was a very difficult time. Her husband remains in Sussex while they find a house in Cardiff. Ash and Alice remain good friends.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

I am passionate about our wonderful NHS and want to offer my support to this amazing project in any way I can.

Andy Kemp MBE

Andy is Group Sales & Marketing Director for Bidfood which is an international food distribution business supplying all aspects of the hospitality business. His customers are diverse as supplying Her Majesty the Queen to supplying Her Majesty's prisons. Bidfood have 5000 employees. Have a fresh food division called Bidfresh which supplies fresh fruit and veg, fresh meat & fish and they have landing sights for their fish from Brixham up to Hull. They try to sell predominantly British products and are industry leaders in areas such as clean food, sustainability and the reduction of fats, salt & sugars. Andy sits on the Government All Party Working Committee where they review children's feeding. He also sits on the board of four charities and lectures at the University of West London from where he has a Doctorate. He was graciously awarded an MBE by Her Majesty the Queen for his contributions towards the hospitality industry, education of the young and his charitable work. He is married to Hazel, has one daughter and two grandchildren

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

I believe it gives an honest expression of here and now within the pandemic and will allow future generations to better understand both the psychology and the social effect of Covid 19 in 2020 and 2021

Anna Beardshaw

Anna Beardshaw is a Physiotherapist, mother to Kieran and Freya and writes in her spare time. Anna has written a diary during the pandemic and attended several creative writing courses over the last year. Anna is married to Ad and they live in Hampshire with the kids and Clover the puppy. She enjoys writing, walking the dog, cycling, cooking and drinking fine wine. Prior to working as a physiotherapist Anna did a degree in modern languages and worked for De Beers for 5 years where she traded in rough diamonds in London, Antwerp, Guinea and Hong Kong.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

I wanted to get involved in the project to raise money for people that have suffered in the pandemic and as an outlet for my writing and my family’s art work.

Anne Palmer

Anne teaches Ballet to an assorted group of ladies and one male student. During lock down she sent reports every week to the group and they morphed into a diary of wide ranging subjects.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

I want to represent older people, especially single people, during lockdown

Barry Laden MBE

In over 30 years of working with small businesses, Barry Laden has been associated with retail, property, fashion and design. This includes owning fashion retail stores; selling wholesale fashions to Harrods and Asos and also fashion manufacturing. In recent years he is a consultant to businesses and also an artist selling through Saatchi Art Online. He is a Liveryman at the Drapers' Company in the City of London where he serves on the Textile Working Group, providing support and advice to under 25s studying and working in the fashion and textiles world. He was made an Honorary Doctor of Design by Solent University, given the Freedom of the City of London and awarded the MBE for services to the fashion industry. He lives in Woodford Green with his husband, theatre lighting designer David W Kidd.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

.

Jemma Thorne

Jemma is a 30 year-old Marketer, Blogger and Designer for a recruitment company from 9-5 and a freelance Illustrator/Graphic Designer outside office hours, living and working in Chelmsford, Essex. Hercommissions predominantly consist of people and pet portraits. She gained her BA (hons) degree in Illustration & Graphic Design from the University of Hertfordshire in 2013 before going on to obtain a PGCE in Primary Education at Middlesex University. After teaching professionally for 4 years (London and Brighton) she made the move to the art industry full-time. An avid dog enthusiast and dog owner, as well as a keen footballer (defence: left-back, if you’re asking), Jemma tries to get outside as often as she can to balance the time spent staring at paper or a screen! From a young age she was inspired by the artwork of Disney, Mangas and comic books and was obsessed with drawing from the minute she was able to hold a pencil. Nowadays, that pencil often takes the form of an Apple pencil, as Jemma produces a lot of digital artwork on the iPad as well as with pen and paper. Jemma is incredibly honoured to be a part of this team and will be putting her skills to good use for this amazing project.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

With an elderly and vulnerable grandmother, whom I love fiercely and who currently lives with my parents, Covid 19 was a major cause for concern for me (like many others). As an introverted extrovert, I both equally loved and hated being forced to stay inside, but I would do it endlessly to protect the people around me that I love.

Jenny Subramanian

Jenny (40) is a mum of two young children, business owner and wife to Ash . Jenny has been in the hair industry for over 20 years and owned her first salon at 21. Jenny works full time and is passionate about her business, and has worked hard to create an environment in which her small dedicated team can thrive . Jenny loves champagne and chocolate and the occasional bike ride around Ibiza with friends! She also loves being busy and embracing new challenges, and has to date organised and co-hosted five charity balls. During 2020 Jenny has encountered various challenges. She has dealt with two forced closures, managed financial and emotional upheavals, supported her staff, home schooled her children and has drawn on others for support in ways she has never needed before. She’s learnt a lot about herself, her business and what’s really important in life.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

Covid Reflections is important to me as it has meant we have a place to share our experiences and read about what others have been through . There have been some very worrying times but also some funny times . Covid19 and lockdown has really made us take a look at the way we live our lives and appreciate things that we often took for granted before .

Julian Barwell

Dr Julian Barwell is a consultant in clinical genetics and honorary professor in cancer studies at the University of Leicester with a specialist interest in community engagement. During the covid-19 pandemic he wrote a diary on his return to the oncology wards after nineteen years and is currently also supporting the intensive care unit at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. Married with three children and keen performer in musical theatre and writer, he is also a chairman of a language school, a secondary school governor, sits on a local special needs charity family support committee and is a clinical and academic adviser to four cancer charities.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

Covid reflections is our shared story. Involving over thirty contributors from all walks of life, we are writing a book on life in the covid era with the proceeds going to nominated charities. How have we coped with living, loving, laughing and suffering during the pandemic? How have our hopes, fears and desires changed and what have we learnt about living Together Apart? Through poetry, drawings, diaries and stories; we reflect on life in the pandemic from pregnancies and birth, through homeschooling, university life, employment, relationships, hobbies, illness and death. Written both contemporaneously during 2020 and now in the Spring of 2021, Covid Reflections is a celebration of nature, hope, understanding and acts of kindness through the eyes of the sciences, humanities and the arts. It is dedicated to everyone that has been affected by the pandemic and all those we have lost.

Kate Graham

Kate works in Investment Management as an investor and is a member of a number of boards, including a FinTech start up. She also volunteers as an Ambassador for the Diversity Project. She has been involved in charity fundraising through her position as Chair of the Board of 100WF, an international women's organisation. Her family lives in London, and she has three children, a boisterous puppy and very little free time!

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

The last year or so has changed society for good. We need to work together to help those who have suffered so terribly, and to support all the amazing key workers who have moved mountains to help get us through.

Kate Grant

Kate has been painting and sketching for over 25 years, throughout medical school, starting with the cadavers in the anatomy lab and various landscape locations in Scotland. During her GP training in Aberdeen sheI went to life drawing classes every week for almost three years. While living in the US, she was represented by Stellers Gallery Ponte Vedra Beach from 2006-2012, painting mainly seascapes of the local beaches and attended a class at Glassell School of Art Houston Texas to study Botanical Painting. Since 2017 she has been a Producer with a weekly Internal Medicine /Primary Care Podcast based in USA called www.thecurbsiders.com. In addition to script writing she paints the cover art for 25-30% of the social media advertising. In the last 15 years she has also supported many medical themed charities with art. Since 2016 she has followed her passion for the Sci-Art world, with www.pintofscience.co.uk pairing scientists and artists to explain research to the general public through pub talks and art. She has worked with the Cambridge Brain Unit, Stem Cell Institute, Wellcome Genome Campus and MRC Cambridge, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge. In 2019 she exhibited at the New York Hall of Science, has a piece at the University of Copenhagen and her work fronts the homepage of the website for www.Citigen.org. Since the COVID19 Pandemic, she has been painting portraits of NHS colleagues at work.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

COVID Reflections to me is about telling stories about NHS staff. I started my portraits to lift morale. We spend our days with no visual record of what we do. Confidentiality precludes us taking photos, and yet these scenes are so familiar to us. I had done only 2-3 portraits when Covid Lockdown struck. Numbers were rising exponentially, we were all suddenly wearing PPE. There were parallel A&E departments where possible Covid or non-Covid patients were streamed. GP practices were closed to face-to-face consultations and tents were erected outside. Our hospital teams were muddled and mixed. We came into work not knowing where we would be sent each time. I took photos, grabbing people I knew and those I didn’t. There were amused and puzzled smiles from people that were too tired to say no, and those that wanted something fun to distract them from the daily grind.My colleagues would ask if I could paint them, those isolating at home were commenting about how lovely it was to see the familiar faces and clinical environments in my paintings, and it made them feel part of something familiar. It seemed urgent and important to just say yes to everyone.

Kelly, Shelley and Louise of Care2share

At the end of December, three ladies got together on a mission to support our local NHS staff and local care sector workers. Kelly a mother of four, who runs a family business with her husband. Louise a mother of two and a housekeeper for the NHS, and Shelley a mother of one and a manager of a bridal shop. They have one thing in common, a passion for fundraising and to support those in need. Over the past couple of years, they have individually raised thousands of pounds for charities both local and Nationally. From a plea on their Facebook pages, they gained lots of generous donations all from their local community within just a few days. This included Mints, lip balms, hand creams and drinks. A local business man came forward and donated free use of a unit to work from. These items were made up into care packages to distribute. Care2share was formed at the end of January and to date have given out over 3000 care packages.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

COVID reflections is important to us as it’s a voice of everyday people and how it has affected them individually. Its history and something to look back on in the future for generations to come. It’s a honour to be asked to take part.

Lisa Clarke

Lisa spent twenty years running Hedgehog Pie, an event catering company supplying clients all over London, Bristol and the South West with fabulous parties. Her most distinguished customer was the Lord Chancellor’s Residence in the House of Lords. Here she supplied events catering to the government, senior judiciary and charities. It was cooking a five course dinner with a unique chocolate pudding for HM Queen in 2004 that sparked Lisa’s idea to start a school, teaching and unravelling the mysteries of how to work with chocolate. Since Covid forced Lisa to close down her cookery school, The Chocolate Tart, she diversified into making chocolates to sell online. Lisa also sourced flour and yeast for her village, selling it from a help yourself, not for profit, pop up shop outside her workshop. Keeping her village if Congresbury baking helped everyone’s mental health and provide a routine for those collecting flour whilst taking their daily exercise. Many villagers paid double for their flour enabling anyone who couldn’t work to take flour for free. Lisa used excess funds to make chocolate bars for the NHS, donating chocolate to teams all over the South. Lisa is wife to Bristol wine merchant Ed and they have three amazing children. Lisa is a member of the Council of the Commanderie de Bordeaux a Bristol. In her spare time she loves walking, public speaking and cooking.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

We are honoured to be able to share the nation’s story, of this moment in history. A record for future generations to show our kindness towards each other, respect, strength and resilience. This was how a nation came together to fight the common enemy of Covid 19. Lives were lost, mistakes were made, but for the most, we did our very best. This is the peoples’ story told by the people for the generations in the future to understand our experience.

Louise Muller

Louise Muller has been in the teaching profession for over 20 years, a profession which still fills her with passion and excitement every day. She absolutely loves working with young children and the joy they bring every day. Louise loves their curious minds, their unique perspectives on life, their creativity and humour, and their thirst for learning about the world around them. Louise has always been intrigued by how young minds tick and has a particular interest in supporting children with their emotional wellbeing. She recently completed an MSc in Mental Health and Wellbeing in Education and has used this new found knowledge to support and develop the Wellbeing First ethos and curriculum at West Rise Community Infant School - a unique and visionary school in the heart of Eastbourne. As well as being an educator, Louise is a Mum to two lovely children who inspire her every day and is also an avid Welsh rugby supporter!

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

Listening to children's voices is part of my everyday life. If you listen carefully you will hear how insightful and full of wisdom children are. Right now, children are becoming part of history, with its highs and lows, as well as it joys and despairs and they should be heard.

Luke Matthews

Luke has been working in the fitness industry for 20 years. This has included working with members of the public from all walks of life at a public leisure centre and more recently working with private clients as a personal trainer. Outside of this, he also helps out with some rugby coaching at his son's school.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

We all have short memories, particularly when it comes to traumatic and difficult periods and it is important that we make sure that the stories of suffering, courage and human kindness are immortalised for future generations. This archive of stories from everyday people without bias and prejudice will provide a valuable historical reference of how this pandemic impacted normal people's lives.

Michael Tyrrell

Michael has a background is Graphic Design, who has an eye for detail and tiny bit of OCD ;-) He uses these skills in everything that he does, wanting to ensure everything is done to the highest possible standard. He always enjoys helping and supporting others. He thinks this was instilled into him from an early age. He had Leukaemia when he was five and his family fundraised and volunteered for Great Ormond Street Hospital (https://www.gosh.org/). In his adult life he was part of Round Table and supported local charities like Children's Respite Trust (https://www.crtcharity.org/).

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

As a business owner during the pandemic and being based heavily in the Retail and Exhibition Industry, it's been tough. Luckily my life has hardened me, but where I do struggle, is seeing and hearing about others that are being seriously effected by COVID. It's in my nature to want to help them too.

Mimi Avery

Mimi is a fifth Generation Avery at Averys Wine Merchants of Bristol. Averys are locally based but deliver wine from around the world across the UK. She is a civil engineer student who played rugby, and more recently skis competitively for fun. Mimi is descended from a (rather nasty) pirate, she is now a brand ambassador, and has a heart for charity.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

I have seen so much positivity come through this year, often stemming from awful situations yet hope springs eternal.

Nalius Sheehan

Nalius is an Export Manager and Grandad living in Hertfordshire, sharing with you a lifetime hobbie, providing a little bit of fun with caricatures, portraits & Illustrations.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

My daughter Chelsea was the carer for the founder’s mother. I was asked to get involved & I was more than happy to contribute to this amazing & worthy project.

Natasha Agarawal

Natasha is a classical soprano and dancer, trained at the Royal Academy of Music. Her awards include Liverpool’s “Voice of the Year”, Runner-up in the Lesley Garrett Opera Prize and 3rd Place in the Rotary Young Musician national final. Trained in a variety of dance styles, she was also “All England Young Dancer of the Year” 2013. She made her debut at the Royal Festival Hall last year in Ravi Shankar’s opera “Sukanya” and has performed leading roles at the Royal Opera House Mumbai, Warwick Arts Centre and Tête à Tête Festival. She was recently a soloist in the “Creating Change” film series with Welsh National Opera. Natasha is passionate about using music to help those in need. She has done charity concerts in India and has volunteered with the City Lit Percussion Orchestra for adults with learning disabilities and on the children’s ward at the Royal London Hospital. During the pandemic, she has performed for online platforms including Bitesize Proms (supporting Help Musicians). She also sang the national anthem at Wembley with British Youth Opera for the FA Cup Final. In the first lockdown, she sang outside her building every Thursday to support the Key Workers and uplift the neighbours!

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

The thing I love most about music and performing is the ability to bring people together, tell stories and spread joy, hope and unity. The COVID Reflections project captures this perfectly and it’s so important to raise the voices of those who aren’t often heard, especially in such challenging times.

Ollie Martin

Ollie Martin, has an extensive and exciting background in the police force and the wider public sector. Off the back of a series of events at home, work and in health he wanted to reignite the fire in his belly that existed before careers, before children and before life's responsibilities had taken over. He has manifested the tools, experiences and lessons he has learned in his own journey of self-discovery into creating Get Curious. Now he thrives on encouraging men to take their own journeys of curiosity towards a life that delivers more for themselves and those around them. #GetCuriousTalk and #GetCurious999 are FREE peer support groups for men in and out of the emergency services. ?Get Curious members get quick, easy access to space, knowledge and tools that have a strong affiliation with Get Curious' values.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

COVID Reflections captures the true voice of the nation that may not have been heard.

Pete Palmer

Pete studied archaeology and ancient history at university, before training as a chef. He quickly worked out that hot summers in a hot kitchen were not his natural habitat, and took a job as a demonstrator of Xboxes. He then spent five years working for a contracts firm, drafting book, film, music and other contracts. He then took a job in the NHS as administrator for the Acute Brain Injury Unit at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, before moving to Hastings in 2005 to become Anaesthetic Office Manager at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. For the last six years, Pete has worked as Assistant Company Secretary, and now Deputy Company Secretary. He is studying for his CSQS qualification with ICSA in order to become a fully qualified company secretary. He runs the Trust’s charity, and has used this experience to help setting up Covid Reflections. In his private life, Pete loves to spend time with his wife, 12 year old son, and two dogs. I am a keen runner, cyclist, walker of dogs and gamer (board and computer) .

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

I think that we are only just starting to realise how much damage the pandemic has done, and continues to do, to large swathes of vulnerable people in our society. I hope that the project allows the voices of people who are listened to the least to be heard, and gives us a way to help those who need it most.

Phil Carey

Phil is an active runner and teacher from Medway, Kent. He’s interested in getting people’s voices heard and is a political activist who has been involved in political research in the past.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

Because of the significant impact it has had on society and the lasting impact it will leave on us all. This momentous period of time shouldn’t be forgotten about.

Phoebe Clarke

Phoebe left Clifton High School, Bristol in 2017 and is currently a final year student at the University of Southampton, studying Fashion Marketing and Management. Fashion is her passion, however she is conscious of the adverse affects the industry has on the environment, so has run pre-loved clothing sales during her time at university to fundraise for her course and promote circularity. Upon graduation in Summer 2021, Phoebe would like to embark on a career in fashion buying or marketing. In her spare time Phoebe enjoys sewing projects, skiing, reading and spinning. Phoebe has been working hard on her degree during the Covid-19 pandemic, and in between online lectures has supported her mum’s small business which diversified during the pandemic. Phoebe and her mum also ran a not-for-profit flour stall to keep their village baking while supermarket shelves were empty.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

My university experience ended on the 17th March 2020, a time in my life I will never get back. University students have felt overlooked and blamed, meanwhile adapting to online learning and navigating the mental health toll of being confined to bedroom desks and segregated from social normality. I have also witnessed first hand my parents' livelihoods crumble at the hands of COVID, while many enjoyed the sun and rife of time, I supported my parents working day and night to make ends meet.

Piers Harrison-Reid

Piers is a published performance poet whose pieces have been seen over 2,000,000 times. He’s released work with the BBC and CNN on a range of topics. Most of his pieces are about his experiences working in the NHS as an Emergency and ITU Nurse, but Piers also tells other people's stories, and has pieces about his personal experiences. He also leads poetry facilitation sessions at schools and festivals, plays American Football, and DJs in his own time.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

COVID Reflections is a great vehicle to mend and strengthen our communities through reflection and creativity on the collective trauma we've all experienced in COVID.

Prizzi Zarsadias

Prizzi is a general surgeon working at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent. She has a special interest in digital health, medical journalism and graphic design, which combined, has led her to co-found a media startup. She is a previous editor of the Student British Medical Journal and award winning Mediscope Magazine. The pandemic dramatically changed the workplace for surgeons; she sought refuge from the chaos and sadness at work in a newly found obsession with houseplants; gifting them to colleagues and friends whose frequent plant updates helped maintain a feeling of connection.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

This project captures the nation’s experience that goes beyond the headlines and “official record”. It is so important to capture the narrative now, in the moment, and showcase this on a platform accessible to everyone. The true toll of the pandemic can only be told by the people who lived through it.

Richard (Alex) Avery

Alex is a London based actor whose son created a community figurehead, #isolationboxboy. Leading the weekly NHS claps he helped bring friendships and local community together. Through Social Media he took part in “The Peoples’ Picture” and also did the voice over for a short film called “Together Again - Lockdown Video”.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

To highlight optimistic reactions to COVID lockdowns, bring mental positivity and especially to help heal any experiences of grief or depression

Samantha Cook

Samantha is a soon to be published YA fantasy author of dark and twisty adventures. Her books contain a slice of magic and a questionable serving of humour, so bear that in mind before taking a bite. She is also a freelance editor, a (new) YouTube book reviewer, and an editorial assistant for medical books at Taylor & Francis. If she’s not reading, writing, reviewing, or editing, she is probably asleep, come back later.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

Covid has touched us all, and I’d like to dedicate my input to Grampy Mick, who passed away in a care home from suspected Covid last April. It’s also a chance to learn about other’s experiences, all more remarkable than my own.

Simon Newbury

Simon is a commercial and portrait and wedding photographer based in Sussex. He’s also husband to an amazing wife and father to two wonderful children who are growing up way too fast! Variety truly is the "spice of life" and he enjoys turning his hand to anything constructive and creative, from building a couple of houses to manufacturing power-amplifiers for bands and DJs to designing and constructing laser-gun arenas in the family business. He also has had a long ‘career’ in amateur dramatics, which is where he met his wife whilst performing Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers. He once performed on the legendary Glyndebourne stage in a Youth Opera and I even pursued acting professionally for a time, landing a couple of adverts and corporate videos. However, photography was where he settled and where he feels most at home. Simon is a proud member of the Guild Of Photographers and was awarded Overall Image Of The Year two years running by the Guild as well as placing sixth and fifth in the Guild's "Overall WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR" in 2017 and 2019 respectively.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

These are genuinely unprecedented times and need to be recorded. Covid Reflections is a wonderful project, giving voice to many and showing the world ‘you are not alone’. I am delighted to be a part of something truly historic.

Siobhan Mckeon

Aged 38, Siobhan's whole world was turned upside down with a diagnosis of Secondary Breast Cancer (where breast cancer has spread from the primary site to other parts of the body - therefore incurable). Her existence is in limbo. She will never be in remission but she is not yet terminal. She lives with cancer. She is a cancer lifer. One day, if treatments continue to keep her stable, she may be 'no evidence of disease' but would never be completely free from the oncology world. Previously she worked as a civil servant and raised her two children single handedly. Now her focus and priority is living. Living a fulfilled life with meaning and educating the masses about Breast Cancer metastases. Her children are her main motivation and focus. Her daughter is in her last year of university studying accountancy and her son is about to start GCSE's soon. He is very involved with grass roots football and plays rugby for the school. She is so proud of how they have dealt with this situation and never let it loose their focus and ambition to achieve . Her passion for West Ham United football club is what I'm known for and despite 85 cycles of chemotherapy, two operations and radiotherapy (to date), she has only missed only a handful of games. It's what they do as a family and their season tickets are a way of life for them. Escapism and entertainment. Her West Ham family has helped her raise just under £4,000 for breast cancer research when she undertook a 22 mile sponsored swim. Their fans are immense and the club continues to support the cause with their limited edition pink shirts. She is also a lady of faith and regularly attend Mass. Partial to a glass of prosecco and love getting her nails done. She is a 'normal' woman but living in unique circumstances. Her ongoing maintenance chemo keeps her stable. Her treatment will never end and that's why money for research and licensing of new drugs are just so important.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

My chemotherapy was suspended during lockdown, along with many other patients. This has lead to disease progression in some and others not seeking screening programmes due to fear of entering the hospital. Cancer patients are hidden victims during this pandemic. Brushed aside and forgotten. I want our voices heard loud and clear.

Tania de Silva

Miss Tania de Silva is a Consultant oncoplastic Breast Surgeon at Surrey and Sussex healthcare trust. Having done her undergraduate studies at the University of Bristol, she completed her higher surgical training in Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Prior to being appointed as a consultant, she was awarded two travelling fellowships to Barcelona, Spain and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and completed an Oncoplastic fellowship at Charing Cross Hospital. During the COVID 19 pandemic, she has been instrumental in strategic planning to continue to provide breast cancer treatment to patients in the safest possible way. Having grown up in Sri Lanka, She is a founding director of The Ahava Foundation which is a charitable organisation that strives to assist in improving community living standards, bringing a higher level of economic and social empowerment. Miss de Silva is also a talented artist, skilled in oil, acrylic, watercolour and resin. She has travelled extensively and enjoys hiking, swimming and canoeing.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

This project aims to bring to light the challenges the COVID 19 pandemic has had in all spheres of life. More importantly it will consolidate that community spirit which we saw during lockdown. It will be a memoir of that love, generosity and hope in humanity that was seen in an unprecedented time.

Vanessa Marshall

Dr Vanessa Marshall is a medic who spent a large part of her career working in drug safety epidemiology. (epidemiology, is the branch of medicine which deals with the incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases and other factors relating to health - it became much more widely known during the covid pandemic!). She is currently a research manager at the NIHR Bristol Biomedical Research Centre, based at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. (The NIHR is the research arm of the NHS, headed up by Professor Chris Whitty). During the pandemic Bristol BRC was highly involved in Vaccine studies and other covid-related research. Married with two sons, both at university, outside of work she enjoys walking, nature, foraging and wild swimming, all of which have helped keep her sane (ish) during the pandemic) adapting to the "new normal".

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

This project has been a poignant and proactive way of helping to create something positive from this challenging and unsettling time. I have embraced reconnecting with some old friends alongside connecting with some new ones, with this shared common goal. The enthusiasm and passion of those involved, and the talent and creativity has blown me away. Reflecting on and acknowledging all that has come out of the covid era, both the sad, and the inspiring, has been cathartic and life-enhancing and reinforced my faith in humanity in the face of adversity.

Vanessa Rodwell

Vanessa is a 4th year medical student at Leicester. On one hand, she greatly enjoys medical research, on which she is doing a masters next year, and medical education projects. For example she has helped lead the development of an anatomy resource ‘Spotlight Anatomy’ during the pandemic, to help those affected by the prolonged closure of the dissection rooms. On the flip side, she also has a great affinity towards the arts: whether through theatre, harp playing or choir, they have always brought her great joy in granting her some relief from her busy course, but never more so than in this past year.

Why is the COVID Reflections project important to you?

Throughout this year I have personally witnessed the huge impact of the COVID crisis on the medical field, and within my own family. My motivation for working on this project is to support the work of vital charities, such as for mental health, in these trying times. The wonderful, artistic talent that has come out from this year of darkness is truly inspiring and I am proud to help showcase it.