A new artwork that encourages visitors to add to it has been installed at the St Nicholas vaccination centre in Sutton.

The painting, which features a message, rainbow and impression of planet Earth, was the work of local artist Doug Shaw and students from The Prince’s Trust at Carshalton College, who were asked to paint a representation of what having the vaccine means to them.

Sutton Council, who took the lead in installing the project, said it was designed to encourage everyone who visited the centre to post their own experiences and thoughts on getting vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus to create an enhanced piece of art.

"The artwork invites people who have just been vaccinated at the centre, to place a rainbow window sticker or write a message about the vaccine to place onto the window.

"This will create a collage of rainbows and messages from the people of Sutton creating a collective snapshot of those vaccinated within the space of a few weeks," a spokesperson said.

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Doug Shaw offered his thoughts on the outcome of the innovative project:

"I really enjoyed taking part in this project, the students were so creative and have come up with something really powerful.

"In planning the piece, the students discussed what they wanted the mural to reflect. What their thoughts on the vaccine were, what was good about it, why people might have concerns about it and what it all meant for people their age," he said, adding that the message included in the piece was conceived to help start a conversation in the community:

"There was a sense of them wanting the mural to reflect things locally and beyond. The group wanted to include a ‘headline’ statement and as they talked, they agreed it would be more interesting to frame the statement as a question. They wanted to use their art to help start a conversation. They came up with the headline ‘Are we united?’ to reflect how we all need to work together to protect each other from this virus."

Workers at the St Nicholas centre, who continue to protect increasing numbers of people against Covid-19, also seemed to be pleased with the outcome.

Wendy Dyer, Matron St. Nicholas Mass Vaccination Centre said:

"It’s great to see this artwork outside our centre and see people getting involved in creating it. I think the students really reflected what we are seeing here in the centre. People are coming together to get the vaccine to protect others. We are seeing younger people come into the walk-in clinics in groups and they want to ensure we can come out of this pandemic safely together.

"The interactive section also reflects how we are coming together as a community and how our individual contributions, no matter how small, build a bigger picture."

Click here for more information about the Covid-19 vaccine and how to get protected with a jab.