Artist Harry Gray had been creating a series of artworks for the Florence Nightingale Garden at Chelsea Flower Show , using one of the rare and stunning 1944 Nightingale Nurse medals as inspiration. Due to the Covid 19 outbreak the Flower Show was cancelled.
"The brave NHS staff and the massive response to the call for volunteers meant that I often hear the phrase - They deserve a medal !
"I still have the beautiful 1944 medal that was for the Nightingale Pavilion at Chelsea Flower show and it inspired me to design a new medal for the frontline NHS staff and volunteers to help fight coronavirus."
This medal design uses the colour scheme of the Union Jack.
The blue rays refer the beautiful historic Nightingale Nurse medal.
The central red circle with its broken edge is based on the representations we often see in the media of the shape and outline of the virus.
One medal has an NHS design and one has a V for volunteers.
"This new design is for everyone who works in the NHS at the time of the coronavirus from frontline staff to the hospital porters."
He got in touch with Fattorini a company in Birmingham that have been making prestigious medals since 1827 to discus making his designs. It is very important that these medals would be totally made in the UK keeping our craftsmen employed and using the same high quality traditional vitreous enamelling method used in the Nightingale original.
Funds are needed to pay for the machining tools and metal stamps to make prototypes.Then major sponsors and the public can be approached to fund production of the medals.
"I designed and carved The Battle of Britain monument on the white cliffs near Dover and as beating the Covid virus will be another national battle I will also begin work making designs for a permanent Nightingale monument to honour the Doctors, Nurses, Carers and Volunteers of the NHS who fought the pandemic."