BY MARIELLA BROWN
British Vogue has honoured workers on the frontline of the pandemic in its latest issue, with three women featuring on the cover entitled ‘The New Front Line’.
Narguis Horsford, a train driver; Rachel Millar, a community midwife; and Anisa Omar, a supermarket worker, star in the July issue as part of a 20-page portfolio highlighting the unique experiences of working throughout the pandemic.
“I can think of no more appropriate trio of women to represent the millions of people in the UK who, at the height of the pandemic, in the face of dangers large and small, put on their uniforms and work clothes and went to help people”, said Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief of British Vogue.
Photographed by Jamie Hawkesworth and interviewed by Vogue feature editor Olivia Marks, the publication tells the story of the three women’s daily routines and the challenges faced as they, along with millions of others, put on their uniforms and went to work.
Narguis Horsford (pictured above), a London Overground train driver said, “I am no hero, but I’m proud of being a train driver and the essential role we are playing during the coronavirus crisis. Our services are vitally important to keep London moving throughout these unprecedented times.”
She said that she “felt such a sense of pride” when receiving thank yous from members of the public whilst doing her job, adding “I can’t see myself doing anything else.”
Community midwife Rachel Millar (pictured below) said that she hoped the work of the NHS would not be forgotten after the pandemic. “To resume to ‘normal’ would be a step in the wrong direction. Hopefully, this pandemic will bring about positive change and a new and improved normal, for NHS staff and service users alike.”
Anisa Omar (pictured below), a supermarket assistant in King’s Cross Waitrose, said she was motivated to continue her job by the thought of helping people, “If I can put a smile on someone’s face because I’m smiling, that’s amazing for me. That’s all I need.”
She added that people’s recognition and gratitude for her work was a newfound experience, “It’s nice being a key worker. My job was not something that was that big of a deal before. But now it’s like we’re important. We have to be here, regardless of what’s happening in the world. It’s more than just a job now.”
Writing in the edition, Enninful said, “They were always heroes, doing their jobs to keep this country on its feet – but they are also normal people.
“There is such a beauty in normality, but it’s taken an international crisis for us to see it.”
The full feature in the July issue of British Vogue is available via digital download and on newsstands from Friday 5th June.
Photography credits: Jamie Hawkesworth