South West pharmacist and hospital porter photographed by Rankin for NHS birthday portrait collection

  • 29 June 2020


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Powerful portraits of a Bristol pharmacist and hospital porter from who have served on the NHS front line throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, have been captured by acclaimed photographer Rankin, as part of collection unveiled today to celebrate the NHS anniversary.

Ade Williams, Superintendent Pharmacist from Bedminster and Ali Abdi a Porter at University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust were selected to be photographed for the collection, which will be showcased at local bus stops, roadside billboards as well as iconic pedestrian areas including the world-famous Piccadilly Lights in central London this week to mark the 72nd anniversary of the NHS.

In a mark of respect and thanks to the NHS, the renowned photographer, who has previously shot the Rolling Stones, Kate Moss and the Queen, offered to take portraits of 12 people across the country playing a vital role in the NHS response to COVID-19.

British photographer, director and cultural provocateur, Rankin, said;
“As the coronavirus pandemic began to unfold, I was moved by the incredible efforts of people across the NHS and I wanted to document who they are and their role in fighting this disease. Taking a portrait is a unique and intimate experience, even with social distancing in place. Everyone had their own inspiring story which to them was just doing their job. I hope these images portray the resilience and courage they show every day in the face of real adversity.”

Elizabeth O’Mahony, South West Regional Director NHS England and NHS Improvement said:
“This has been the most challenging year in the NHS’s history, and as we approach the NHS’s anniversary, these striking portraits pay tribute to our dedicated staff. The anniversary taking place on the weekend of 5th July is a chance to say thank you to those from all walks of life who have played their part in helping the NHS and our communities deal with this unprecedented health emergency.”

Ade Williams, Superintendent Pharmacist, Bedminster said:
“The shoot was really fun and what I liked the most is that you could tell it meant a lot to Rankin, that he really wanted to use his lens to tell our stories through the pictures.”

Ali Abdi, Porter, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust:
“I feel so extremely proud to have been photographed on behalf of my team and to represent the role of the porter across the NHS.”

Julia Ross, Joint Healthier Together Lead Executive and Chief Executive of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“I’m so proud that Ade and Ali feature as part of this anniversary collection from Rankin. The NHS is defined by its people, and the portraits are a great way to celebrate them.

Coronavirus has presented a huge challenge this year, yet our communities have responded with strength and kindness. We want to thank everyone in our area for their support, and to our health and care staff for the skill and dedication they show every day.”

Alongside their portrait, Ali and Ade have shared their own personal stories from the frontline, providing a unique and touching insight into the lives of the people who are battling this pandemic and saving lives.

The participants have been photographed unhidden by PPE to reveal the people behind the masks and celebrate the individuals they are.

All portraits are being donated by Rankin to the NHS as an ongoing legacy for years to come. Advertising space to display the portraits has also been donated.

The full selection of portraits and their stories can be found here: