Croydon's NHS goes 'Behind the Mask' in revealing new photography exhibition | Trust news

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Croydon's NHS goes 'Behind the Mask' in revealing new photography exhibition

NHS health heroes in one of London’s largest borough lift up their masks to make their voices heard on what it has taken to care for Londoners during a global pandemic in a revealing new photographic exhibition at Croydon and Shoreditch’s BOXPARK. 

Behind the Mask tells the story of 20 frontline health workers at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust who, like so many across the country, have worked tirelessly throughout the past 18 months care for those affected by COVID-19. 

Behind the Mask will be displayed at the two BOXPARK sites throughout the month of September. The art instillations exhibit headshots of members of staff from varying departments at Croydon Health Services, one with their mask on and one with their mask off, alongside a quote that gives an insight into each person’s individual experience during the pandemic.  

The project, captured by Croydon based production company Tinderflint, aims to showcase the incredible care and compassion of small sample of NHS staff that have been at the forefront of the response to one of the greatest healthcare challenges in a generation. 

Lauren Shilling is a radiographer at Croydon University Hospital, south London. Behind the Mask, Lauren said: 

“My story is just one of the many examples of utter commitment that the NHS have shown throughout this crisis and it knocks me for six to think what we have achieved above all odds this past 18 months. Seeing my face – with or without a mask – included in this exhibition is certainly nothing I am used to, but I feel honoured to be recognised for serving our community in Croydon when people needed our help the most.” 

Croydon was hit hard and fast by the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 3,000 people to date treated in hospital for the virus. Sadly, despite the best efforts of clinical teams, over 600 of these patients lost their lives due to COVID-19. With ‘Behind the Mask’ unveiling the stories of Croydon’s NHS staff, it is hoped that this exhibition captures what it has taken to care for one of London’s largest communities and can give a unique insight into the strength and dedication of our health and care workers. 

Croydon’s Place Based Leader for Health and Trust Chief Executive, Matthew Kershaw, said: 

“This is a wonderful honour for our team in Croydon, who have worked astoundingly hard to care for our community and keep our services running, whilst facing the same fears, uncertainties and hopes as we’ve moved through the pandemic. We also hope this helps to remind people that COVID is still with us, and we need masks and vaccination to help stop the spread and keep each other safe.”  

 With COVID-19 still being prevalent and spreading in our communities it is hoped that ‘Behind the Mask’ will encourage Londoners to keep themselves and others safe from the virus by taking necessary precautions. It is still recommended that face coverings are worn in enclosed public spaces and masks must continue to be worn when visiting patients and loved ones in hospital, and other healthcare settings. 

To help stop the spread of COVID-19 and reduce your risk of getting ill from COVID-19, it is encouraged that you get vaccinated and remember Hands, Face, Space, and Fresh Air.  For all the latest information and advice, please visit 

‘Behind the Mask’ is free to visit at both Croydon and Shoreditch BOXPARK from 1 to 30 September 2021. There is also the opportunity to donate to Croydon’s NHS Trust Charitable fund that has supported patients, NHS staff and local residents throughout the pandemic. To donate £5 text NHSCROYDON to 70085. 



1.     Included attached from ‘Behind the Mask’ are photographs of quoted Radiographer at Croydon Health Services, Lauren Shilling.  

2.     For more information, contact the Communications Team on or via telephone on 020 8401 3313. 

3.     For photography enquiries, please contact Croydon based production company Tinderflint at  

4.     About Croydon Health Services NHS Charitable Fund. 

Croydon Health Services NHS Trust Charitable Fund raises money for Croydon Health Services NHS Trust to provide the best possible care for its patients and local community in one of London’s largest boroughs. We do this by:    

  • Refurbishing parts of our hospitals and community services  
  • Funding state-of-the-art equipment  
  • Supporting life-changing research to pioneer new treatments  
  • Providing the best possible services for more than 385,000 people living in Croydon  

    Supporting one of the Capital’s largest and most diverse boroughs, our NHS charity helps people of all ages, from all walks of life to have the best possible experience of NHS care during some of the most difficult times in their lives.  


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