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Recycled vaccine lid artwork wins at the Welsh Sustainability Awards

17 June 2024

Artwork created from thousands of plastic COVID-19 vaccine lids saved from landfill by Hywel Dda University Health Board (UHB) staff and volunteers has won the Culture and Language Wales Award at this year’s Welsh Sustainability Awards (opens in new tab).

During the height of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, Gemma Brown, then mass vaccination centre lead at Hywel Dda UHB, inspired staff and volunteers to collect the vaccine vial lids.

The vision was to create a bespoke piece of art to honour the incredible efforts of healthcare staff and volunteers throughout the pandemic and the success of the vaccination programme.

In 2023, ‘A Dose of Art’ was created, an extraordinary artwork by Nathan Wyburn portraying two smiling NHS staff without Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), conveying a message of hope, freedom, community, light, and life.

Sharon Daniel, Interim Executive Director for Nursing, Quality and Patient Experience at Hywel Dda UHB, said: “Congratulations to everyone involved in creating the wonderful ‘Dose of Art’ artwork and on your recognition by the Welsh Sustainability Awards.

“This win covers a lot of areas that are very important to us as a health board, sustainability, integrating art into our healthcare settings, and of course honouring all our staff and volunteers for their dedication throughout the pandemic.

“The vaccine programme was incredibly necessary, but an unintended outcome was an increase in waste destined for landfill.

“It was inspired of Gemma to see an opportunity to repurpose the plastic lids to not only create a piece of artwork but to also prevent thousands of bits of plastic from simply being thrown away.”

The artwork was unveiled last December at Prince Philip Hospital, Llanelli on the third anniversary of the first COVID-19 vaccine administered by Hywel Dda UHB. It is currently touring across healthcare settings throughout 2024 and 2025.

Sharon added: “Our aim is for as many people as possible to have the opportunity to view this artwork as this is a thank you to everyone who worked through the pandemic.

“It is currently on display in the outpatient department at Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen and we hope people have an opportunity to view it as it moves to our other healthcare venues across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire over the coming year.”

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Eluned Morgan said: “Congratulations to all the winners at the Welsh Sustainability awards this year!

“Your efforts are instrumental in shaping a more sustainable and resilient healthcare system for generations to come, and for the benefit of all in Wales.

“The breadth and variation of innovative projects honoured at the awards is a clear reflection of the talent we have in our workforce.

“Well done on this well-deserved recognition and you should all be very proud of yourselves.”

The realisation of 'A Dose of Art' was made possible through funding provided by Hywel Dda Health Charities, the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board.

The full list of winners at the Welsh Sustainability Awards 2024 are:
  1. The CNO's 'Sustainability in Nursing & Midwifery' Award – Swansea Bay University Health Board
  2. The Spread & Scale Award - Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
  3. The Sustainable Champion Award – Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
  4. The Cohesive Communities Wales Award - Powys Teaching Health Board
  5. The More Equal Wales Award - Prince Charles Hospital
  6. The Culture & Language Wales Award - Hywel Dda University Health Board
  7. The Prosperous Wales Award - Cardiff and Vale University Health Board
  8. The Resilient Wales Award - Swansea Bay University Health Board NHS Wales
  9. The Healthier Wales Award - Primary Care Division, Public Health Wales
  10. The Globally Responsible Wales Award - Cardiff and Vale University Hospital Health Board