29th July 2021
A ‘morale boost’ for HSE staff was how CEO Paul Reid and National HR Director Anne Marie Hoey described the artwork produced by Fifth Class pupils from Powerstown Educate Together National School who were invited to participate in a mini art competition featuring the theme of “Dream Holidays for Healthcare Workers.”
Originally conceived by staff at the HSE Occupational Health Department in Dr Steevens’ , Dublin, Dr Grant Jeffrey explains that they were keen to have “art to display in the department here in Dr Steevens’ - for healthcare workers to see, observe and enjoy. We decided on a mini art competition involving a local school that would be creative for the children and would provide us with artwork for our healthcare workers to enjoy. After the year that everyone has had, we thought it would be special to show healthcare workers that they are valued and appreciated. And with everyone having worked so hard, the idea of everyone deserving a holiday was core to the brief and competition.”
Having reached out to Powerstown Educate Together NS in Tyrrelstown, teacher James Hawe came on board and enthusiastically engaged with his Fifth Class who all participated. From the class of 18, six pieces of art were chosen and agreed as best representing the combined class efforts and these were then judged by Paul Reid and Anne Marie Hoey. The pupils were also asked to provide a short summary of their work and the rationale behind it.
The judges were so impressed by the art work produced that they ultimately awarded two joint thirds allowing for four winners in total who all received book tokens.
Unfortunately due to Covid the school had to close earlier than planned. However, although they were not in a position to Zoom directly into the pupils to thank them and present the prizes virtually, the CEO and HR Director wrote to the children and Mr Hawe read out the letter in which they congratulated the class stating: “The care and thought you all put into each painting certainly brought us joy and brightened the day.
“It has been a difficult year for all of us and we could like to thank you, most sincerely for all that you have done to help protect the vulnerable in our society and the wider health service; and in particular for your appreciation of all our healthcare workers who have looked after our sickest patients over the last 18 months.”
They added: “We thoroughly enjoyed reviewing your work and know that the winning entries, which will go on display in the clinics where we assess healthcare workers who are injured or sick, will provide a huge morale boost for many of them.”
'Cheer up everyone'
First Prize Winner was Grace Keely who in her summary explained that “I painted and drew this piece to try to cheer up everyone as it has been very hard to stay positive. I want to show everyone that this will not last forever. I hope this makes a difference to encourage and brighten people’s moods in the best way possible. I am thrilled to have been able to take part in this competition. I am so happy to feel that I can cheer someone up.”
Second Place Winner Nifemi Stephen Ojo said: “Hello, my name is Nifemi, and I would like to tell you a bit about my painting and why I made it. We were assigned to make a dream holiday for the HSE workers who have worked so hard during Covid-19. So I chose a nice sunset mini beach for them to relax and enjoy their summer after all their hard work! I was trying to aim for a nice and warm sunny place that anyone could imagine living in.”
Joint Third Place Winner Lucas Sumichrast said: “I drew and painted what I did because I thought of a modern day villa or mansion and lots of people want one of those so I thought that it would be good if I made one of those. I was thinking of when I went to Howth one or two days before and also because: what is the first thing most people think of when they think of a nice house? Normally a mansion or a villa so that is what I was thinking of. I hope it is a place that people would like to rest and enjoy.”
And finally, fellow Joint Third Prize Winner Joshua Estrada said: “My art is based off of a small house by the river in the African Savannah. I believe it would be a nice holiday home because of the hot, tropical climate and the many unique animals you can find. It would be a nice place to relax and enjoy your time.”
For teacher Mr Hawe taking part in the competition gave his class “the opportunity to not only create art for their own enjoyment but for the enjoyment of others too. This really motivated them and they strived to produce paintings that would bring cheer to the corridors of the Dr Steevens’ building. In the end the whole class were delighted with their work and a special mention goes to the winners who are really excited to spend their book vouchers.”
Overall, Dr Jeffrey was delighted with the quality of the artwork and with the final touches being made at present, looks forward to the art going on display in the department in the coming days.