The Duchess of Cambridge has praised a hospital worker, featured in her lockdown photographic project, for her “total dedication to the patients”.
Kate said she was “proud” of the ward host who, when unable to visit her sick mother, declined time off and continued working at Whipps Cross Hospital in east London providing meals for patients.
The woman – known just by her first name Gimba – was pictured finishing a lunch of rice and chicken in the image which was one of 100 chosen for the duchess’ Hold Still exhibition and book.
During a phone call made last autumn and released on Thursday, Kate told the hospital worker: “It’s lovely to see the resilience and that glimmer of hope that you showed, the sort of enjoyment of the simple things because I think we all sort of really hunkered down and really relished in the simple pleasures.
“And I love the gentle smile on your face despite it being a really hard day for you and how much, obviously, you’re enjoying your lunch.
“We are also proud of you and your colleagues too. You showed…the total dedication to the patients that you cared for, and even in times of hardship, you’re still there and not wanting to let those patients down.
“So you should be very proud of the amazing work that you do on a day-to-day basis.
The image called Gimba – The Ward Host, was taken by Hassan Akkad who said in his caption for his picture: “Gimba migrated from Nigeria to Britain and has been working at the hospital for over a decade, commuting for two hours to get to work.
“On the day the photograph was taken, Gimba had received the terrible news from Nigeria that her mother had fallen ill and had been rushed to hospital.
“Gimba cried all day and was heartbroken that she couldn’t fly home to see her mother and look after her because of travel restrictions during the pandemic. She declined to take any time off, saying: ‘I have to feed my patients’.”