Shepley Heroes

Heroes of Shepley portraits Collection

The `Portraitsfornhsheroes’ initiative was amazing and helped to highlight the plight of our NHS keyworkers. Having seen the efforts of other workers not just in Shepley but other villages as well, who were not getting any recognition for their selfless efforts, I decided to do a `Heroes of Shepley’ portrait collection. This was a celebration of these people and their colleagues, and I wanted to thank them on behalf of the community by gifting them a free portrait. Throughout the pandemic the residents of Shepley have helped each other and kept the village going – something that is appreciated by everyone.  I got quite attached to the portraits, it feels like they are letting you into their world, I’ve enjoyed painting them, learned more about my community and recorded a little bit of history.

I started with our post lady Emma who always has a smile and has helped lots of people on her rounds – always asking how people are and if she can help them. Emma was a very popular choice.

The second portrait in my ‘Heroes of Shepley’ collection is of Paula from Shepley Co-operative Society. At the start of lockdown, the staff faced challenging times and have hopefully come through it as stronger people. Workers names were put in a hat and out came Paula with a big smile.

The third portrait in my ‘Heroes of Shepley’ collection is of Kishan, who was nominated by his colleagues at Shepley Health Centre. Life has changed beyond recognition including the way that we go to the Health Centre in times of need. This has been a new challenge for all the staff and I know that everyone appreciates their help.

Portrait number 4 in my Heroes of Shepley Collection is Rachel, who works for the Admiral Nurse Charity `Dementia UK’. Rachel works as part of a two-person team which covers the Shepley community. With the help of volunteers, they produced and delivered 106 comfort bags to older people with Dementia and family carers in need around Shepley and Kirklees.

The fifth portrait in my Heroes of Shepley Collection is PC Caroline, who is the Ward Officer and Wildlife Crime Officer for Shepley. As well as patrolling the local area to keep everyone safe, Caroline is tasked with dealing with badger persecution, a cause that she is very passionate about, check out the badger badge on her lapel.

Number 6 in the collection is Ron Leather, who is representing the team at Shepley Magazine. The team have kept Shepley informed about activities online and Zoom – quizzes, Easter egg hunts, recipes, sports and nature groups, Faith, school and local history. The Magazine has also been a voice for our MP, Councillor and also provided an extensive list of useful telephone numbers.

The 7th Hero of Shepley is the School Crossing Lady, Hazel Robinson. For 27 years come rain, shine, snow and all elements of Yorkshire weather, Hazel has been helping the children of Shepley to safely cross Abbey Road on their way to and from school.