Adee Phelan’s NHS Gifts for Heroes shoot

You’ll have no doubt heard about this initiative, created by Adee Phelan when the pandemic first struck to share boxed donations of hair treats with NHS workers as a thank you for all their tireless work. Resuscitated for Christmas initially, it has now been extended due to the current lockdown and the extra stress on the NHS, and it’s all supported by the rather incredible milestone you see here.

It’s a shoot with NHS workers by the legendary photographer Rankin, captured on the day the first vaccine was administered. Those featured range from a hospital porter to a head of an intensive care unit, all dressed in their colours and selected through internal polls as examples of staff who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic. Adee grabbed another legend, Errol Douglas MBE, to help him on the hair, and the images will be blown up to 6ft portraits, signed and auctioned off to raise further funds, thanks to the support of Jay Rutland at The Maddox Gallery, which will hold a virtual exhibition and host the auction. The 650 on Adee’s scrubs? The number of NHS workers lost to Covid-19 at the time of the shoot.

Now, in addition to the portrait sales, Adee is searching for product donations once again – do you have any old stock in your salon that you can spare? He’s keen to hear from brand manufacturers who can dig deep and supply stock to ensure these boxes get filled, too. Oh, and if you have some time and can help distribute gift boxes in your local area, do please get in touch – he’s hoping that the hair community will help him salute the star staff of the NHS once more. And Adee, we salute you too!

If you want to support Adee with any product donations or can help with gift box distribution, please contact him on or

Hair: Adee Phelan and Errol Douglas
Make-up: Lan Nguyen-Grealis
Photography: Rankin
Styling: NHS staff’s own
Sponsored by Davines and Hair Tools

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