China Plate and Coventry University present

Humans Not Heroes

A unique co-creation project with professional artists, to represent healthcare worker experiences of Covid-19.

  • 8th December 2021 - 8th December 2022
  • By China Plate, Coventry University & Kerry Wykes

Run time: Approx 8 mins

Age: 12+

Content warnings: This piece contains themes of mortality and illness and is based on real life testimonies from front line NHS workers during the Covid 19 pandemic.

A black and white photograph of a persons face behind a plastic shield and glasses, dressed in full PPE.

"Moving, Cathartic, A special workshop to be part of"

Healthcare Worker Participants 2020

Drawing of a silhouette of a head side on with the text 'Coventry Creates' is overlaid on top.

Humans Not Heroes

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Humans Not Heroes has seen five cohorts of healthcare workers each co-create an audio artwork based on their experiences of working throughout the ongoing pandemic. Participants have come from a variety of roles and experiences, from up and down the country. The full series of artworks will be available in 2022.

Launching In December 2021, the Humans Not Heroes team are premiering the latest audio artwork ‘Thresholds’ by Rochi Rampal as part of Coventry Creates. This artwork will be the first of four, born out of a series of co-creation workshops that took place in 2021 with writers Caroline Horton and Rochi Rampal.

The team will also be speaking at The People Place Power 2021 conference on Wednesday 8th December as part of the ‘Stories and Learning’ day. The team will lead a creative/practical session, discussing exploring concepts of power and co-creation in relation to healthcare workers experiences of Covid-19.

Earlier this year, Humans Not Heroes was shortlisted for the Student Nursing Times Awards 2021 in the Teaching Innovation of the Year category.

The Humans Not Heroes project follows-on from a successful pilot project, Boats on an Ocean, run in 2020 as part of Coventry Creates.

As the project continues to develop since 2020, we are asking those interested in supporting the project further to contact Susan Wareham on

Funded by The Rayne Foundation and Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. Ethical approval granted by Coventry University.

Listen Now

Want to learn more? If you or your team would like to get involved, or if you’d like to find out more about the art works, please contact Susan Wareham on

by Rochi Rampal, is available to listen to, as part of the Coventry Creates exhibition.


Content Warning: This piece contains themes of mortality and illness and is based on real life testimonies from front line NHS workers during the Covid 19 pandemic.

There is a transcription of the audio available in our Downloads section.

The piece is emotive, it is designed to be an intimate listening experience, so we suggest you listen to it somewhere quiet, ideally with headphones. Dr Liz Sparkes (Mindfulness & Compassion at Coventry University) recommends these three steps to release tension and engage with feelings of wellbeing and compassion, before/during or after your listening experience:

  1. Notice what is happening around you. Allow yourself to acknowledge what it is that is happening that is disturbing you. Not trying to change it in any way. Perhaps label it.
  2. Locate where the experience is felt within the body. Where do you feel the discomfort in the body? Perhaps the sensations are in one area, or possibly across several sites. Just notice.
  3. Begin to breathe into the area where the tension or discomfort is felt. Moving out of the mind and into the body. Just direct the breath into the area that feels tense, bringing a sense of softening. Also placing a hand on the heart area will bring a softening and soothing to the difficult experience.

If, after listening to this audio recording, you need to talk to someone about your experiences or someone you care about,  there is advice and emotional support available from The Samaritans or call 116123 for free advice.

If you are a healthcare leader or manager, and want more advice on how to support your team, go to: or contact us if you would like to use this resource with your healthcare team.

Creative Team

A black and white photograph of a persons face behind a plastic shield and glasses, dressed in full PPE.

Humans Not Heroes

Read more
  • Research Associate and Joint Project Lead | Kerry Wykes
  • Joint Fundraising Lead | Kerry Wykes
  • Research Lead | Dr Sally Pezaro
  • Writer and Director | Caroline Horton
  • Writer and Director | Rochi Rampal
  • Co-creator & trainer | Nick Walker
  • Psychologist | Dr. Liz Sparkes
  • Sound Designer | Charlotte Bickley
  • Actor | Urielle Klein-Mekongo
  • Participants | Multidisciplinary healthcare workers
  • Producer | China Plate
  • Funded by | The Rayne Foundation & Winston Churchill Memorial Trust
  • Ethical approval granted by | Coventry University

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