A PORTRAIT of an NHS hero by an Awbridge artist has featured in a new book showcasing frontline workers, who have risked their lives in the battle against coronavirus.

Amber Melligan-Hart's work was chosen as part of Portraits for NHS Heroes, which is set to be published on November 12.

The book was inspired by artist Tom Croft who started the initiative on Instagram with the hashtag #portraitsfornhsheroes in an effort to capture the bravery and heroism of frontline workers during the pandemic.

Amber, who lives in Romsey Road, said she discovered the project through another artist on the app, after seeing their submitted work, and was soon paired up with a qualified nurse, Joanna Lowry.

The 30-year-old said: "When I saw this on Instagram I thought 'I need to take part in this and see what happens'.

"I was randomly paired up with Joanna, who has been a qualified nurse for 20 years, and she wasn't sure if she was even eligible to be put forward for the book, so I thought 'I have to do this with her'.

"Joanna, who I think lives in Salisbury, sent a picture of herself to me and I spread the work over four days. It took me about eight hours in total to paint the watercolour underneath and put charcoal on top of it before I submitted my work on April 28.

"I didn't know Joanna before we did this, but I liked that because it was nice to find out a little bit about her and her story."

Amber, who is a waitress at The Rockingham Arms pub in West Wellow, added: "It was such a lovely project to take part in and at the time it was everyone's first lockdown, myself and my husband were furloughed, so I felt like I was giving something back in a strange way.

"I still have Joanna's portrait so what I am planning to do is give it and the book to her [after lockdown]."

Portraits for NHS Heroes can be pre-ordered on Waterstones, Amazon, and Bloomsbury in time for its release tomorrow.

From each book that is bought, at least £2.50 will go to NHS Charities Together to help fund vital projects.