Portrait of Umar Saleem


Stories and portraits of NHS Lothian, brought to life by photographers and writers, Craig Easton and Lottie Davies.

Close your eyes and imagine a bustling hospital environment; conversations at a bedside, ringing phones in a nurses station, throngs of people going about their daily business. But amidst all this activity, there are hidden pockets of peace. These are the ‘havens‘ of NHS Lothian staff – quiet gardens, inspiring art installations, or even a hidden nook to claim as their own.

Our Havens Project set out to explore these sanctuaries and the stories of the people who find solace within them. Over the course of 18 months, award-winning photographers and writers, Craig Easton and Lottie Davies, embarked on a journey across NHS Lothian, meeting staff from a variety of different roles and services. Through interviews and portraits, they captured the essence of their havens and the impact they have on wellbeing.

Why are these havens important?

It’s quite simple. Happy and healthy staff lead to better patient care.

By celebrating the human side of the NHS workforce, the project gave a voice to often unheard stories. The project also extended beyond simple recognition of these spaces. It unlocked the hidden potential of NHS Lothian’s green spaces and the healing power of a creative environment for distraction and reflection. By showcasing resources like this that exist across all sites, ‘Havens‘ hopes to inspire other staff to take advantage of these spaces and explore the positive power of art and nature.

The ultimate goal? A ripple effect of increased staff wellbeing, stronger team spirit, and a renewed appreciation for the hidden gems within NHS Lothian. So, next time you see a healthcare worker taking a quiet moment, remember, they might just be visiting their haven.

Stories and Portraits

Join our amazing NHS Lothian staff on their journey to discover their hidden havens – those peaceful pockets within the busy healthcare environment where they find moments of quiet to recharge.

Portrait of Terry Henderson


As part of the project, staff had the opportunity to attend photography and creative writing workshops to help them use their own creativity in new ways to support wellbeing.

Lottie Davies leading a creative workshop for staff


We are thrilled to present our Havens Exhibition in partnership with Stills: Centre for Photography. This special exhibition is open to the public and features portraits and stories that celebrate the amazing staff who work at NHS Lothian.

Havens Exhibition at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital

Meet the Artists

Award-winning photographers and writers, Craig Easton and Lottie Davies, embarked on a journey across NHS Lothian, meeting staff and capturing the essence of these havens and the impact they have on wellbeing.

Havens artists, Lottie Davies and Craig Easton


Discover the story behind the stories by watching our Havens video or dive deeper into the project by reading our Havens publication.

NHS Lothian staff being shown her Havens portrait

With thanks to all the staff across NHS Lothian Charity and NHS Lothian who made this project possible, including our Green Health and Tonic Arts team who delivered the project.

With special thanks to:

All the participants and members of the Havens Steering Group, Havens Project Manager: Kristina Royer, Artists: Craig Easton and Lottie Davies, Partners: Stills; Centre for Photography, Detail Framing, Rob Brady.