Kensington Palace today released the next part of the Hold Still 2020 conversations. This time The Duchess of Cambridge is talking to Jason Baird – ‘Stockport Spider-Man’. The Brits were allowed to go outside for exercise for one hour during the first lockdown of 2020.
Jason Baird and his friend Andrew Baldock started dressing up as Spider-Man during their exercise time to entertain the children staying inside their homes due to the pandemic.
The Duchess of Cambridge talked to some of the finalists of Hold Still in Autumn 2020 to learn more about the stories behind the pictures. These calls are giving a completely new perspective to the 100 photographs chosen by the judging panel. Every story is unique and describes the different challenges faced by our society during the lockdown. I personally loved this conversion because what Jason and Andrew did was a random act of kindness to bring a cheerful spirit to the children who were silent victims of the pandemic i.e. no school, no friends, no outdoors time.
Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!
📸 @philnoble1 / @reuterspictures
Jason Baird is seen dressed as #SpiderMan during his daily exercise to cheer up local children in Stockport, as the spread of the #coronavirus disease (#COVIDー19) continues. pic.twitter.com/zU1CwPN9JL
— 𝕋𝕙𝕖 ℙ𝕚𝕔𝕥𝕦𝕣𝕖 𝔼𝕕𝕚𝕥𝕠𝕣 (@BenJonesPicEd) April 1, 2020
Children were watching Jason and Andrew doing stunts and exercise in the street from their home windows. Jason is a Martial Art teacher and chose to do something to cheer up the kids on his street with his talent along with Andrew, one of the coaches at his Martial Art training school in Stockport. Jason and Andrew have also raised over £60,000 for NHS Charities in the process.
After some time, Jason had a group of fifty people dressing up as different characters i.e. Batman, Snow White, Wonder Woman etc who would perform various acts on the street so that children can watch them from the safe boundaries of their home. Jason is now getting requests to perform at birthdays. This year in February he ran 50 miles in one day for a child suicide prevention charity Papyrus. Jason and Andrew also won the Points of Light Award last year and received a letter of appreciation from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“Together with Andrew, your “Stockport Spidermen” is lifting the spirits of so many, encouraging vital exercise and raising funds for our wonderful NHS Charities.”
The Duchess ended the call on a joke that if she comes to Stockport she might be able to see him performing and Jason candidly replied that he will put on a suit when she comes.
The Hold Still 2020 was a community photography project spearheaded by The Duchess of Cambridge for her patronage National portrait gallery. More than 31K entries were submitted to the project and the final 100 portraits were selected by the judging panel.
The final 100 portraits will be part of NPG’s archive and also have been turned into a book that remains the Sunday Times Bestselling book. Learn more about the complete journey of Hold Still 2020 here, you can see the final 100 portraits here at NPG and purchase the book here.