An artistic nurse has given her care home colleagues a superhero-style boost – by depicting them in an amazing caped-crusader gallery.
Lynn Bell, who works in Parksprings care home, Motherwell, has created caricatures of all of her co-workers, inspired by the collective spirit and superhuman effort of the team during the pandemic. She has painted them as she sees them – as heroes.
Bell said: “Each and every one of my workmates has demonstrated an inner strength that would put The Hulk in the shade.
“It’s well publicised that COVID-19 posed very real challenges for care homes over the last year or so. Parksprings has been no different.
“My colleagues’ capacity for compassion and commitment, however, has known no bounds. I wanted to help recognise what has really been a superhuman effort. Most importantly, I just wanted to put a smile on everyone’s faces.”
Lynn, 53, from Cambusnethan, Wishaw, has been painting from childhood. She moved into the care home sector in 2011 after working as a hospital nurse for five years.
The grandmother-of-two added: “From helping my children – and now grandchildren – in their school art assignments, to painting friends’ pets, there’s not much I’ve not turned my hand to. I was looking for a new project to get my teeth into. The inspiration was right there in front of me.”
Lynn, who normally paints to unwind from a nightshift, continued: “Since starting work in care homes a decade ago, I’ve always loved the sense of togetherness, among staff and residents alike. That applies to the good times and the bad.
“In the last year everyone has had so much to deal with, none more so than our residents and their families. I’ve also seen how all of my colleagues have responded to adversity, how they’ve adapted to new ways of working – and how they’ve kept caring for, and reassuring residents, every step of the way.”
“I think what can be overlooked, sometimes, is that care home staff are human too. They have worries, anxieties of their own. Despite that, their commitment is unwavering. They are all my heroes and it’s a privilege to work among them.”
The incredible artworks have not only brought smiles to staff – but now installed in the home they’re bringing joy to everyone living at the home and their visitors too.
Michelle Carrigan, Manager at Parksprings Care Home, said: “The caped-crusader gallery has given everyone a real lift. It’s given the staff something to smile about and the residents love it. It’s all credit to Lynn’s thoughtfulness and talents.”
Lynn’s handiwork has also been praised by Lanarkshire’s multiagency Care Home Staff Wellbeing Group.
The group is made up of representatives of from North and South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnerships, NHS Lanarkshire and the care home sector. Its aim is to ensure staff are supported, from simple wellbeing provision to those who require mental health assessment and intervention.
Dr Susan Ross, consultant clinical psychologist and co-chair of the group, said: “First and foremost, our deepest sympathies and condolences are with all those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19. We also know the impact of COVID continues to be deeply felt by our colleagues working in the front line of care homes too.
“We have a range of supports in place for care home staff if they need it. But many of us process emotions by talking and telling the story of what we’ve experienced. Our immediate colleagues are often those best placed to share this with.
“In essence, we know staff being there for each other has been – and is – very effective and powerful. Super-talented Lynn has provided a very bright, and very brilliant, example of that in action.”