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Mum and daughter produce book to support NHS mental health charities

A leading illustrator and her mum have come up with a unique way of supporting NHS workers whose mental health has been affected by the stress of dealing with COVID-19.

Taaya Marjorie Griffith who lives in Chafford Hundred, Essex, and her mother, retired teacher Naomi Lumutenga, who lives in Maidstone, have collaborated to produce ‘Our COVID-19 Heroes’, an illustrated book which charts the role played by workers across a number of sectors during the pandemic.

Along with showing the work done by the medical profession, the book also highlights the vital services provided by everyone from supermarket staff to the Royal Mail, in an easy-to-read format which makes it suitable for all ages.

Taaya, who is an acclaimed illustrator and runs Swanky Portraits, which creates personalised, illustrated items, has turned her skills to this project, with mum Naomi providing the wording.

 Taaya said:

This has been such an extraordinary time in everyone’s lives and we wanted to do something positive to help.  So, we decided to work together on the book with all of the proceeds going to support Frontline, which looks after the mental health of frontline workers.

 For Naomi, who previously taught economics and geography, the book helped her through a very difficult time.

I recently lost my mother who was in Uganda and could only watch the funeral on Facetime. So working on this has been a real help.

For people who work in the NHS this has been such a terrible time.  We were thinking of all the retired NHS staff who went back to work and some of whom then passed away, the mental and emotional stress this put on so many people.

We can only imagine the sense of helplessness so many health staff must have felt and will continue to feel, which to us heightened the need for support for their mental health. This is why we decided to do the book to give to a charity which provides this vital mental health support.

 Both women believe that as well as being created in a style that families can enjoy together, the book will act as a reminder of the tireless efforts of people who have worked throughout the current situation.

Our Covid-19 Heroes is available at £5.99p at https://covidheroes.swankyportraits.co.uk/

Image credit: Taaya Marjorie Griffith and Naomi Lumutenga

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