Counting Covid: exhibition shows virus ‘impact’ on capital

Friday, 22nd July — By Dara Coker

St John’s Highbury Vale primary covid

St John’s Highbury Vale Primary School pupils put their Covid exhibition on show at St Augustine’s Church

PUPILS from a Highbury primary school spent their pocket money on buying figurines to represent the devastating toll Covid has taken on London.

Thirty schoolchildren from St John’s Highbury Vale primary, in Conewood Street, created a moving exhibition at St Augustine’s Church this week to highlight the impact Covid has had on communities across the capital. It is the brainchild of Year 6 pupil Abi Henderson, who created the exhibition with her classmates, titled Counting Covid, after she was given a Plus-Plus plastic.

Abi said: “I got a present from one of my classmates and I built one of these [the plastic figurines] and saw it looked quite like a person. I told my classmates and we started building them [the plastic figurines]. And we thought, why don’t we do it for all of the people that have died in London?

“People spent their pocket money on this. We started with Islington and then we worked our way up to London.”

Abi Henderson, Benjamin Neville-Lee and Frederik Rankin

This soon became a class effort as others joined in and spent their pocket money to buy plastic building blocks to contribute to the display.

The exhibition, which opened to the public on Monday at the church in Highbury New Park, saw pupils spend hours setting up thousands of plastic figurines to represent every person who has died in London during the pandemic.

In a touching twist, the Denmark-based toy company who produced the plastic building blocks then sent the primary school 80,000 more to complete the project, upon hearing about its importance.

Sadly, as fatalities continue to increase on a daily basis, the children had to come in throughout the week to add plastic figures to the exhibition.

Claire Tunley, Abi’s mother, said: “Every brick, every little piece is someone that has died from Covid-19. The numbers are going up”.

Mayor of Islington Marion Spall, who visited the exhibition yesterday (Thursday) and spoke with the students, said: “Events like this are important because it helps them understand Covid-19 and the loss that we’ve had.”

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