Covid Conversations

What should a national collection of Covid-19 personal testimonies contain?


Covid Conversations is a series of free, public, online events led by the NHS Voices of Covid-19 team with guest speakers.

Join us to take part in the conversation 'what should a national collection of Covid-19 personal testimonies contain?'

Supported by a grant of £1 million from UK Research and Innovation, through the Arts and Humanities Research Council, NHS Voices of Covid-19 are developing a national collection of personal testimonies and in-depth reflections around Covid-19. These will be preserved as a permanent public resource for informing policy and practice and form part of a wider British Library Covid-19 collecting initiative.




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*Upcoming Events *


12.30-13:30 (BST) Tuesday 26 October 2021

NHS Voices of Covid-19: In conversation with Collecting Covid-19.  One year on since ‘In Conversation with Historians, Archivists and Curators’ 

Please register here

Speakers include:

Natasha McEnroe, Keeper of Medicine, Science Museum, London

Her previous post was Director of the Florence Nightingale Museum, and prior to this she was Museum Manager of the Grant Museum of Zoology and Comparative Anatomy and Curator of the Galton Collection at University College London. From 1997 – 2007, she was Curator of Dr Johnson’s House in London’s Fleet Street, and has also worked for the National Trust and the Victoria & Albert Museum. Natasha was editor of Medicine: An Imperfect Science (Scala, 2019), co-editor of The Medicine Cabinet (Carlton, 2019) and co-editor of The Hospital in the Oatfield – The Art of Nursing in the First World War (Strange Attractor, 2014). Her research interests focus on 19th-century public health and the history of nursing. She is a Trustee of Dr Johnson’s House in London and of the Erasmus Darwin Museum in Lichfield and is a Freeman of The Worshipful Company of Barbers. Natasha also sits on the National Accreditation Committee for Arts Council England.

Elizabeth Crooke, Professor of Heritage and Museum Studies, Ulster University and Principal Investigator of the UKRI-funded Museums, Crisis and Covid19: Vitality and Vulnerabilities project. Elizabeth's work explores what museums bring to society and how we engage with them. Her understanding has been developed with the sector, both as Chair of NI Museums Council, and through working with colleagues in museums on research, exhibition, and development projects.   

Sam Jenkins, Collections Officer, Peoples History Museum, Manchester.   A museum professional working in collections management.  Sam has experience with registration, documentation, curation and collections care, and in volunteer management.  Currently, Sam cares for the Designated collection of the People's History Museum and has worked for a variety of institutions, including National, independent, and organisations within the Arts Council National Portfolio.

Caylin Smith, Head of Digital Preservation for Cambridge University Library.  Her work focuses on ensuring digital collection materials are preserved and can be accessed now and in the future.  Along with the Keeper of the University Archives, Caylin established the Library’s Covid-19 Collection that includes materials about the pandemic in digital and physical formats created by members of the Collegiate University and the city of Cambridge. Caylin is also a Co-Investigator on the recently announced ‘The Archive of Tomorrow: Health Information and Misinformation in the UK Web Archive’ project. Led by the National Library of Scotland, and funded by the Wellcome Trust, this project will examine how websites and other online content relating to health are archived.


12.30-13:30 (BST) Tuesday 23 November 2021

NHS Voices of Covid-19: In conversation with Science and Covid-19

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NHS Voices of Covid-19 In Conversation with Vaccination and Covid-19: 20 July 2021, 12.30-1.30pm 

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Thank you to all our speakers and participants who joined us for our Covid Conversation focusing on Vaccination and Covid-19. It was a thought provoking event raising many issues. You can watch the event in full here.

Our director Stephanie Snow was joined by speakers:

Professor Sheena Cruickshank: Academic Lead for Public Engagement with Research. Sheena is an immunologist and science communicator at the University of Manchester. She is a part of the COVID Immunology Consortium advisory board who are conducting research into the immunology of COVID19 and she also has done a lot of communication work around COVID and vaccines in the media and in local communities and worked with groups such as the British Society for Immunology and American Association for the Advancement of Science to help shape conversations around COVID and vaccines.

Dr Sohail Munshi: Sohail has been a GP for 24 years. He is currently Chief medical officer for Manchester and Trafford LCOs which bring together GPs, community services and social care to improve population health outcomes. He was recognised in the Queens honours for creating England's largest GP federation back in 2018 and was also appointed as a senior clinical advisor to the National medical director for Primary Care to support work on Covid vaccinations and primary care in England earlier this year.

Vaccines have been one of the most vital healthcare interventions in the history of medicine and save millions of lives every year. Vaccine research and development has been at the heart of the global response to the pandemic and the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination programme is the largest to date. Yet there have been many challenges including the logistics of coordinating large numbers of patients; storing the Pfizer vaccine correctly; policy decisions about the lengthening the gap between doses; and responding to people’s anxieties about the vaccine. The need to share vaccine supplies across the world also raises ethical dilemmas for nations.

NHS Voices of Covid-19 In Conversation with Faith and Covid-19: 22 June 2021, 12.30-1.30pm 

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Thank you to all our speakers and participants who joined us for our Covid Conversation focusing on Faith and Covid-19. It was a thought provoking event raising many issues. You can watch the event in full here.

Our director Stephanie Snow was joined by speakers:

Reverend Philip Hawthorn: Saint Stephen's Parochial Church Council (PCC). Philip has been at Saint Stephen's for 10 years. This is his first job as a rector. Before that he was a writer, director and presenter in various media, mostly for BBC Radio and Television.

David Mintz: Manchester’s Jewish Communities Sunday Night Live Host. A series of Sunday night discussions featuring thought provoking talking points on a range of challenging topics.

Dr Haider Ali: General Practitioner / Family medicine consultant @health_fitness_doc.  A University of Manchester medical alumni. Haida has also been volunteering, supporting NHS Staff delivering care packages through the pandemic and has worked in the specialist social care, education and faith sector for over 25 years regionally, nationally and internationally.

Faith and religious beliefs are an essential part of many people’s lives. Everyday rituals of attending places of worship and observing religious festivals give meaning and shape to the passing of time. During Covid-19, faith communities have played a central role in the crisis including: supporting people who are suffering loss and bereavement; distributing food and supplies; and opening up mosques, synagogues and churches as vaccination centres. At local level, faith communities have been working in neighbourhoods alongside charities and other voluntary sector organisations to support some of the most vulnerable in society.

NHS Voices of Covid-19 -  Covid Conversation: Arts and Culture, Tuesday 15 December, 12.30pm-1.30pm

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(This event does not have closed captions you can access the Zoom transcript of the event here)

Thank you to all our speakers and participants who joined us for an uplifting Covid Conversation focusing on arts and culture. You can watch the event in full here.

Arts and culture promote wellbeing and connectedness across society. They help us to understand better what it means to be human and the world around us. During Covid-19, the creative sector has responded strongly to the crisis. Through words, images and music, it has recorded life in extraordinary times and inspired us to create meaning from the present and to imagine what the future might look like.

Director, Stephanie Snow, in conversation with:

Denise Vogelsang - Director of Communications & Digital, National Portrait Gallery

Tim Harrison - Creative Director, SICK! Festival

Adam O’Riordan - Reader in Contemporary Poetry and Fiction, Manchester Writing School

Chava Erlanger (nee Rosenzweig)- Freelance Artist and Managing Director at Chavasart


NHS Voices of Covid-19 In Conversation: Charities and the Voluntary Sector: Tuesday 24 November, 12.30pm-1.30pm

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Thank you to all our speakers and participants who joined us for our Covid Conversation focusing on charities and the voluntary sector. It was a thought provoking event raising many issues. You can watch the event in full here.

Our director Stephanie Snow was joined by speakers:

Ellie Orton- Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together. She has worked in the specialist social care, education and faith sector for over 25 years regionally, nationally and internationally.

Chris Larkin- Director of Stroke Support – England, Stroke Association. He has extensive knowledge of the health and social care system and is passionate about the role of the voluntary sector within it.

Charles Kwaku-Odoi- Chief Officer of the Caribbean and African Health Network, Manchester. He has a wealth of strategy, governance and policy experience from a number of roles in the voluntary and public sectors at local and national levels.

Prof John Mohan - Director of The third Sector Research Centre, The University of Birmingham.

Charities and the voluntary sector play a major role in supporting millions of people living with ongoing health and care needs across the UK. From neurological conditions to mental health to disabilities to cancer and much more – the third sector provides emotional support, practical help, and social activities for users, families and carers and is deeply involved in advocacy and research. Their role has become even more critical through the pandemic as they work with some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

NHS at 70: Covid Conversations: Historians, Archivists and Curators, 20th October 2020

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On Tuesday 20 October we hosted the first of our online Covid Conversations to consider how best we can build a national collection around Covid-19 for use now and in the future. 

Our project director, Stephanie Snow was joined by Safina Islam, Head of Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and Education Trust, University of Manchester, Alex Mold, Associate Professor in History, and Director of the Centre for History in Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Mary Stewart, Curator of Oral History and Deputy Director of National Life Stories at the British Library who all gave their perspectives on collecting through Covid-19. 

We were delighted that over 120 people joined the event and contributed to questions and discussion through chat. Thank you to all who participated, and especially the speakers for their insightful contributions.