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Ulster University Belfast School of Art Ceramics, Jewellery and Silversmithing students have been keeping busy during the pandemic, spending their time hand-making medals for healthcare staff. Anne Boylan, Belfast School of Art lecturer presented the medals to nurse Lindsey Adamson at Belfast City Hospital on Monday the ninth of November.

Ulster students joined over 3000 individuals across 63 countries in a global initiative called the Hand Medal Project. The project aims to present as many health workers with a medal in recognition of their work in their communities, risking their lives to care for others.

Anne Boylan, Belfast School of Art Lecturer, commended the students’ efforts, saying:

“We are so proud of our Ulster University Ceramics, Jewellery and Silversmithing students who participated in this global project to show their thanks and appreciation to the healthcare workers who have been working around the clock to keep us all safe. The Hand Medal Project is a fantastic initiative to take part in, giving our students an opportunity to showcase their skills and talents in creating and designing while giving back to those who have been providing vital services.”

Erin Calvert, Ulster University Ceramics, Jewellery and Silversmithing student expressed her gratitude for key healthcare staff and their work saying,

“It was a great way to start my final year and re-connect with the discipline of making in the studio environment. It is a very different experience as we have restrictions in place to ensure our safety, although I am delighted to be able to use my creativity and skills for this global celebration of healthcare staff.”

Belfast Trust Chief Executive Cathy Jack said:

“Belfast Trust is honoured to have received these absolutely beautiful hand medals from the Ulster University. It is always heart-warming to receive acknowledgement for our hard work, especially in the midst of this pandemic, but when someone takes the time to painstakingly produce such intricate works of art, it makes us feel really valued.

There is no doubt that health care staff everywhere deserve thanks and an abundance of praise. In years to come these pieces will act as a reminder of the gratitude Belfast Trust staff have experienced during these very challenging times. I want to personally thank the students at Ulster University for thinking of us so warmly, and bestowing us with these fine examples of their exceptional artistic talent. These delicately crafted hand medals are very precious gifts which we will cherish.”