A special key worker gifting campaign launched last month by Orkney jewellery designer, Zoe Davidson, attracted over 200 nominations, with an islands midwife chosen to receive a silver ring in recognition of her vital role in the community.
Stromness–based Zoe created the campaign in a bid to recognise the efforts of all those continuing to work during the coronavirus pandemic, and to do something positive in the face of a crisis that’s adversely impacted on her own business.
She launched the campaign on her Facebook page, promising to gift an item of jewellery to a key worker randomly selected from public nominations received.
“This has been an extremely difficult time as a small business owner,” said 28-year-old Zoe. “I normally do a lot of trade and retail shows on the mainland and, because my work is very tactile and often bespoke, I rely a great deal on face-to-face sales. This would also be the start of Orkney’s busy tourist season, which brings in a lot of business locally, and that’s all gone for now.
“I’ve therefore had to rethink my strategy and focus more on my online resources, but I was keen not to make it all about selling,” she explained. “I wanted to do a bit more, to try and bring people together during these strange times and help counter the negative effects that lockdown has on mental health.”
Zoe’s campaign urged her Facebook followers to nominate key workers they knew were going the extra mile for their communities, whether NHS staff, supermarket workers, delivery drivers or posties.
Showing just a few of the key worker stories on Zoe Davidson’s Facebook campaign.
“The response was overwhelming, with an amazing 200-plus nominations,” said Zoe. “I cried, I laughed and I felt connected again and I hope everyone who took part did too. I also hoped those nominated by their friends and colleagues during these uncertain times got a bit of a lift from it.”
After the campaign had ended, it was Orkney midwife Pam Halliday’s name that was pulled out of the hat. She was nominated by her co-worker, Claire Ross.
“Shortly after finding out Pam’s phone number I gave her a call,” said Zoe. “From her reaction I don’t think she had any idea she had been nominated! She was very taken aback, probably thinking it was a hoax phone call.
“After a wee bit of chatting I asked more about her story and the work she did at The Balfour. I think a lot of us are oblivious to what goes on behind the scenes in hospitals or any work environment for that matter, especially now. I wanted to shine a light on Pam’s story, and highlight someone who is quietly going about their work, no matter how hard the times.”
Pam, who received her ring in the post, said: “I was honoured and to say a bit shocked to be nominated as a keyworker for this campaign, but it was a lovely surprise. In these uncertain times it is nice to have something which can lift our spirits and I am very grateful to Zoe Davidson Jewellery.
Zoe Davidson (left) virtually handing over Pam Halliday’s gift
The ring (left) gifted to Pam from the Spring Tides Range and photo by Pam (right) wearing her new ring.
“I work as a midwife in The Balfour and whilst the NHS has seen a lot of changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, our work continues as babies still make an appearance! In April we had 17 babies born.
“We’ve had to make some changes to our daily practice in line with COVID-19 procedures, which has meant changes to visiting and attendance at the maternity unit, but we’re all still very much here for our mums and babies. I work alongside a fantastic team who’ve all risen to the challenge to support one another and to continue providing the care we always have for our mums, babies, their partners and families.”
Zoe said she would have liked to have given all of those nominated a gift, but hoped Pam would wear her ring on behalf of fellow key workers.
“Pam represents all of you and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart,” said Zoe. “You all do an incredible job. It’s nice to see folk are genuinely thinking of others in our isles community during these troubled times and great to hear that more babies are being born. Our future looks good!
Zoe is planning further campaigns on her Facebook page – Zoe Davidson Jewellery – in the coming weeks.
“As a business, I feel the focus for me right now is on making connections, creating jewellery that connects people during this difficult time and running campaigns that make people smile for their future.”
Press Release by Dave Flanagan.