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Hunt for Highland NHS hero is a real draw


By Staff Reporter

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Bonnie McColl and Emily Stokes, of Mikeysline, with the limited edition print of the Banksy artwork, Game Changer. Picture: Gary Anthony.
Bonnie McColl and Emily Stokes, of Mikeysline, with the limited edition print of the Banksy artwork, Game Changer. Picture: Gary Anthony.

The search is on for an NHS superhero in the Highlands to receive a limited edition print of an iconic image created by the world-renowed street artist, Banksy.

The suicide prevention charity, Mikeysline, has been given a print of the eye-catching artwork which hit the headlines after it appeared at Southampton General Hospital at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a gesture of appreciation for the dedication shown by NHS staff, Mikeysline, which operates a drop-in centre in Inverness and a text helpline, is now seeking nominations for a worthy recipient.

It could include anyone in NHS Highland – such as domestic or catering staff, nurses, doctors and from any speciality including mental health – who has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Donna Smith, chairwoman of Mikeysline, said it was a way of marking the work carried out by NHS staff.

“We were delighted to be gifted this Banksy print and really proud to launch this call to recognise one of our many local NHS superheroes,” she said.

“We all know NHS staff who work tirelessly in a variety of roles in normal times, let alone in the last six months, so we hope people can get busy nominating someone who they feel is deserving of recognition for the valuable work they do.”

The print was donated by Ron Williamson, the founder of Mikeysline, who lives in Southampton.

He managed to buy one after the artist gave permission for a local group to run a limited edition replica of the canvas to be given out to individuals who had gone above and beyond the call of duty.

The original artwork is a largely monochrome painting and shows a young boy kneeling by a wastepaper basket dressed in dungarees and a T-shirt.

He has discarded his Spiderman and Batman model figures in favour of a new favourite action hero – an NHS nurse.

The artist left a note for hospital workers, which read: “Thanks for all you’re doing. I hope this brightens the place up a bit, even if it’s only black and white.”

The limited edition print of the Banksy artwork, Game Changer, which will awarded to an NHS Highland superhero. Picture: Gary Anthony.
The limited edition print of the Banksy artwork, Game Changer, which will awarded to an NHS Highland superhero. Picture: Gary Anthony.

Mikeysline service manager Emily Stokes is urging the public to nominate their superhero, giving details of why they think that person deserves to win.

“They need to make the case of why that person has gone above and beyond the call of duty,” she said.

“It could be anyone who works directly for the NHS. It doesn’t matter what role it is, or what speciality.

“Mikeysline would like to show its appreciation and acknowledge the dedication of everyone in the NHS in the Highlands.”

Entries should be submitted by October 31 to banksy@mikeysline.co.uk

A panel of judges will go through the entries and decide on a winner to be announced in November.

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