Newbury tattooist gifts 'phenomenal' NHS workers free tattoos
A tattooist in Newbury has said an artistic thank you to NHS workers in the form of tattoos.
In his very own NHS themed designs, Lee Priddy used his art to give something back to healthcare heroes last week.
From the morning to late night on Wednesday, February 16, Full Power Studios on London Road saw 10 different healthcare workers enter and leave with a badge of honour tattoo.
Mr Priddy said: “The day went really well. Surprisingly it was not as stressful as I thought it would be.”
He noted how the experience gave him an insight into what NHS workers do and see on a daily basis and said: “I was shocked at how many different types of jobs there were in the NHS.
“There was a person working in the orthopedics section then the next person was working in A&E, it’s just so different.
“It was great to hear the different stories from each person. The way they each reacted to working in the NHS through the pandemic.”
He added: “Some were affected a lot more than others, it was fascinating.”
The range of clients didn’t differ just in job title, with NHS workers of all ages popping in for a tattoo.
“I got around 10 people,” he said. “I have met different types of people, some were nurses around 18 or 19-years-old and others will have been working for 30 to 40 years.
“There were just such vast different experiences from them. The jobs that they do is phenomenal.”
Mr Priddy, who has been a tattooist for around a decade, said that this was the first time he had held an event of this nature.
He said: “I have tattooed at music festivals and conventions. This was a lot calmer.
“It was just a really smooth, easy day.”
Despite taking on the challenge alone, the day ran “surprisingly smoothly” and the tattoo artist said that it made him feel like he’d made the right decision.
“It felt like it was the right thing to do.
“I was supposed to have helpers with me but they could not make it so I started off the day thinking I’m going to have to do this by myself. I was a little bit worried.
“But with the first person in, everything was calm and I was calm.”
He also noted how the sheer efficiency and smooth running of the entire event made him realise what he was doing was right.
“There was no rush, it wasn’t a challenge to find anything. It all fell into place.
“When one person would finish early, the next person was just there ready.
“Everything just sort of felt right.”
With many more people left to tattoo, Mr Priddy’s charity offer isn’t over yet. He had plans to stagger bookings weekly, with a person a week coming in to claim their free body art.
However, with more than 100 takers, he is looking to hold another day dedicated to NHS tattoos.
Mr Priddy said he is “very excited” about meeting more heroes despite the challenge that lies ahead.
“I’ve got to figure it out,” he said. “I’ll get in touch with them and hold another event in the year.”
To see more of his creations, visit @leepriddytattoo on Instagram.