Three women from across the UK have been honoured in hand-painted street art in celebration of their incredible efforts to care for their local communities over the past 12 months this International Women’s Day. The handcrafted murals, located in London, Glasgow and Cardiff, were commissioned by Amazon Handmade to celebrate those who have ‘mothered the nation’ through the pandemic and mark the launch of the new Mother’s Day storefront.
Amazon Handmade is recognising Donna Foote (52, Glasgow), Professor Alka Surajprakash Ahuja MBE (50, Cardiff) and Jonelle Awomoyi (22, London) who have each shown extraordinary care and kindness and worked tirelessly to uplift and support others.
Donna Foote acted quickly when the pandemic struck. The volunteer-led organisation she founded expanded to deliver vital supplies to the vulnerable and provided a lifeline for many in Glasgow. Prof. Alka Surajprakash Ahuja MBE helped to digitalise NHS Wales in a matter of weeks after lockdown was announced, to ensure patients could still access professional medical help and Jonelle Awomoyi has spearheaded youth affairs in the UK by passionately campaigning, mentoring and lecturing on issues that affect young people in Croydon and beyond.
Daron Manso, Head of Marketing, Amazon Handmade said: ‘We’re passionate about handmade art and gifts and empowering makers and artisans around the UK and beyond so 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. We’re inspired by the work Donna, Alka and Jonelle have done over the last 12 months and are excited to work with local artists to celebrate their stories.’
The inspiring #TheArtOfMotherhood mural series has been thoughtfully designed and created by leading female street artists: Natasha Rachel, Rosie Woods and Molly Hankinson – members of Graffiti Life, a trail blazing collective of UK creative artists.
Iona Thomas, Graffiti Life founder comments: “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.
“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 www.amazon.co.uk/handmademothers for a selection of gifts from artisans and makers across the UK and beyond, from art, home and garden to fashion, beauty and crafts.
LONDON’S VOICE OF GEN Z: Jonelle Awomoyi– Shoreditch Panel, London
Jonelle was selected for her on-going commitment to helping to give local young people a voice. At only 22, Jonelle inspires her peers speak up for what they believe in, tackle mental health issues, and find employment opportunities to help shape their lives. She 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.
Jonelle commented, “I’m passionate about helping to connect young people with opportunities and better lives in the place I grew up. To have Amazon Handmade shine 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, and it’s perfect to show young people that we can make a difference together. The quote used on my mural is so fitting; I really want everyone to believe that their voice matters and can make a difference.”
CARDIFF’S DIGITAL DOCTOR MBE: Professor Alka Surajprakash Ahuja MBE – Quay Street, Cardiff
Quay Street in Cardiff plays host to artwork celebrating Professor Alka Surajprakash Ahuja, a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist. The mother of two along with the TEC Cymru team was 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.
Alka commented: “It was vital that the healthcare services continued to provide safe and timely care during the pandemic, while also protecting the workforce. 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 help to enable safe delivery of care to everyone, especially those who were vulnerable, shielding and unable to access healthcare due to social restrictions. 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.”
GLASGOW’S GREAT SAMARITAN: Donna Foote – Riverside, Glasgow
Donna Foote’s is celebrated for her work in founding Greater Pollok Services CIC, an organisation that offers food, prescriptions and mental health support for people living in Greater Pollok. 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. Donna also organised donations for the vulnerable during summer of 2020 to ensure her community felt supported by one of their own.
Donna commented, “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. 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.”