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Activities Coordinator, Jill Bowen from Hulton House Care Residence in Preston has today received her personal copy of the #Holdstill2020 full colour book which features a photograph she took during national lock down. The selection panel included The Duchess of Cambridge, National Portrait Gallery Director Nicholas Cullinan, the author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay; the Chief Nursing Officer for England Ruth May, and award-winning photographer Maryam Wahid.

They met via a video call in July 2020 and undertook the challenging process of selecting the best 100 portraits for the exhibition. From over 30,000 entries, Jill’s photo made the final 100 photos that became part of an exhibition to create a unique record of our shared history at the height of the Covid Pandemic. #Holdstill 2020 was spearheaded by the Duchess of Cambridge and ran in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery in London and supported by Taylor Wessing. The final 100 photographs have appeared as an exhibition on the website and as a Nationwide community exhibition on out-door advertising sites sponsored by the Coop. They have also formed part of a digital exhibition at The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. It is now in print in the form of this book. The photo called ‘We always wear a smile,’ was taken by Jill and submitted by colleague and Senior Advanced Practitioner at Hulton House, Trevor Edwards. It was taken of colleagues at the time, Beth Eccles and Sade Hampson. As mask wearing was disturbing for some residents, staff decided to have photographs of themselves pinned to their lanyards, making it easier for residents to identify them. The photo was taken to show how proud they were of this idea and also, to show that despite the constraints of wearing PPE, they could still find a way to ‘always wear a smile’. Jill developed a keen interest in photography well before the start of the pandemic. She honed her skills at a training course run by

. The course aimed to give staff working in activities the ability needed to create visually stimulating posts on their social media pages and to create better portraits of residents for their families. Such skills have become increasingly more important during the pandemic when homes were closed to visitors. Photography and video played a huge part in helping residents and their families to feel connected during this time. When asked how she felt about making it into the exhibition and now the book, Jill commented, ‘I’m so proud. They have now said that the photo will be in the gallery forever as it has become part of our history. How amazing is that?”

The Managing Director of L&M Healthcare – the company which both owns and operates Hulton House – commented, ‘To make it down to the final 100 out of over 30,000 entries is amazing. This has put Jill, her colleagues and Hulton House into a history book and we shall be forever proud of this fine achievement.’


This blog is a contribution towards my 100 positive care home stories for my Captain Tom 100 challenge.

Please click here if you would like to contribute your care home story too.


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