Three women from across the UK have been honoured in hand-painted street art to celebrate their incredible efforts to care for their local communities.
The handcrafted murals were commissioned by Amazon Handmade to celebrate those who have ‘mothered the nation’ through the pandemic, and to mark the launch of the new Mother’s Day storefront.
“We’re passionate about handmade art and gifts and empowering makers and artisans around the UK and beyond,” said Daron Manso, Head of Marketing, Amazon Handmade. “This Mother’s Day we wanted to capture that spirit by creating three unique, handcrafted murals that celebrate the role mothers play in our community.”
From digitalising local NHS services to protect the vulnerable, to campaigning for youth issues and running volunteer projects that helped support those in need during the pandemic, these women have worked tirelessly to uplift and support others. We’re finding out more about the women behind the murals.
Donna Foote, Glasgow
Donna’s artwork celebrates her work in founding Greater Pollok Services CIC, an organisation which offers food, prescriptions and mental health support for people living in Greater Pollok.
Donna acted quickly when the pandemic struck, and she expanded her organisation to deliver vital supplies to the vulnerable and provided a lifeline for many in Glasgow.
Over the past 12 months, the mother of five recruited and trained local volunteers, set up services to transport vulnerable people, and ensured they arrived at their appointments, in addition to establishing a befriending service for those who were shielding.
“It came naturally to me to help those in need of food and prescriptions in Greater Pollok; to take action and make actual change was something so close to my heart,” Donna said.
“Mother’s Day is a recognition of compassion, kindness and community. Qualities which we hope to promote through our fantastic project, Greater Pollok Services CIC. It’s incredible to be honoured with this mural in Glasgow, and I hope it highlights that anyone can make a difference if they pull up their sleeves and put their mind to it.”
Professor Alka Surajprakash Ahuja MBE, Cardiff
Quay Street in Cardiff plays host to artwork of Professor Alka Surajprakash Ahuja, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist.
Incredibly, she helped to digitalise NHS Wales in a matter of weeks after lockdown was announced, ensuring patients could still access professional medical help.
The mother of two, along with the TEC Cymru team, were fundamental in establishing the NHS Wales Video Consulting Service, creating an initiative to allow patients to access healthcare advice and services from their homes during the pandemic. The project touched thousands of lives in the area.
Professor Alka Surajprakash Ahuja was recently given an MBE for her contribution to Wales.
“It was vital that the healthcare services continued to provide safe and timely care during the pandemic, while also protecting the workforce,” said Professor Ahuja.
“I was lucky enough to work alongside the incredible TEC Cymru team as we rolled out the National Video Consulting Service at a rapid rate to enable safe delivery of care to everyone. Especially those who were vulnerable, shielding and unable to access healthcare due to social restrictions.”
She added: “I am unbelievably proud of everything key workers have achieved during this challenging period, and for Amazon Handmade to celebrate our work for Mother’s Day fills me with pride and helps show that we can all make a change.”
Jonelle Awomoyi, London
Jonelle was selected for her on-going commitment to giving local young people a voice. At only 22 years old, Jonelle inspires her peers to speak up for what they believe in, tackle mental health issues, and find employment opportunities that can help to shape their lives. She has spearheaded youth affairs in the UK by passionately campaigning, mentoring and lecturing on issues that affect young people in Croydon and beyond.
If that wasn’t enough, Jonelle sits as member of the British Youth Parliament for Croydon and campaigns on behalf of the borough’s 91,000 under-18s. Jonelle is also an #iwill ambassador committed to social action. She hosted The Power of Youth Festival in 2020 and is also part of the Back Youth Alliance, an organisation that helps connect young people with paid jobs in the community.
Later this month, Jonelle will visit the UN convention to discuss the status of women in leadership and gender-based violence which has surged over lockdown.
“I’m passionate about helping to connect young people with opportunities and better lives in the place I grew up,” said Jonelle.
She added: “To have Amazon Handmade shine a light on my story ahead of Mother’s Day, as someone caring for the community, only builds the awareness of what I want to do. It’s perfect to show young people that we can make a difference together. I really want everyone to believe that their voice matters and can make a difference.”
The inspiring #TheArtOfMotherhood mural series has been thoughtfully designed and created by leading female street artists, Natasha Rachel, Rosie Woods and Molly Hankinson, who are members of Graffiti Life, a trial blazing collective of UK creative artists.
“Hand painted art is a fitting celebration of Donna, Alka and Jonelle – the love, care and attention that has gone into these pieces of art reflects their action in the community over the past year,” said Iona Thomas, Founder, Graffiti Life.
“We’re thrilled to have been involved in celebrating these local heroes alongside Amazon Handmade. This year, more than ever, it feels like Mother’s Day is the perfect time to give back and say thank you to those who have shown us support, care and kindness.”
Shoppers looking to celebrate their own mother figures with handmade, personalised gifts this Mother’s Day can now visit the new Mother’s Day storefront for a selection of gifts from artisans and makers across the UK and beyond, from art, home and garden to fashion, beauty and crafts.