Smiling behind the mask portrait gifted to Community Midwife

Tracey Chew.jpg

A Community Midwife who works for North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust received a beautiful portrait of herself smiling behind her mask from a local resident as a thank you for her work during the pandemic.

Ruth Simmonds, who created the beautiful piece with watercolours, decided to use Tracey Chew as her muse after forming a friendship with the midwife and seeing the work she was doing for the community and wanted to give something back.

During the pandemic Midwife Tracey volunteered to be a part of her local community support group to help residents by collecting prescriptions, helping with the food shop and other day to day activities, which is how she met Ruth.

Tracey said:  “Ruth was intrigued how I was coping with PPE so I sent her a selfie while preparing for clinic one day and she came back asking if she could paint my portrait. I was shocked as I felt there were far more worthy souls. Ruth has a wonderful ability to draw out information by her gentle, enquiring manner but more importantly her listening skills and reading between the lines.”

Masks can be a barrier to communication and smiling behind the mask is an essential part of the communication process. Ruth not only captured how tiring the impact of COVID is but also Tracey’s eye smile.

Ruth said:  “It was an absolute pleasure to be able to gift this portrait to Tracey. During lockdown I’d lost motivation to do any art which was such a shame as it was something I really enjoyed doing. I happen to get the magazine called Artists and Illustrators and they did a special edition of NHS Hero portraits and instantly I knew that this was something I wanted to be involved in and couldn’t think of anyone better than Tracey to be my NHS hero.”