GOSH poem celebrates 75 years of the NHS

24 Nov 2023, 4 p.m.

GOSH resident arts pictured together on the roof garden of Great Ormond Street Hospital. They are standing in a line holding their musical instruments and smiling at the camera

GOSH staff have shared how much working in the NHS means to them in a new poem to mark the 75-year anniversary of the service.

GOSH Resident Poet, Cecilia Knapp heard from 80 members of staff from across the hospital including the play team, estates and facilities, nursing, patient experience and research to hear their experiences of their time at GOSH.

The poem titled Come with Me celebrates all the things that make our hospital unique; from the bright yellow shirts of our volunteers to the important tasks of domestic services and our clinical teams.

The Come with Me poem

Hear Lizzie Penn, Senior Play Therapist perform the poem live.

Watch the poem together with the animation

'It was a privilege to lend my voice to our GOSH poem’

Lizzie Penn, Senior Play Specialist, and narrator of the poem said: “It was a privilege to lend my voice to our GOSH poem.

"I have enjoyed this project that celebrates the wonderful staff of the NHS, as well as the art and creativity that underpins the work we do here at GOSH”.

Ciara Hazelwood, Arts Manager at GOSH, said: “This creative collaboration across the hospital has been an inspiring way to mark this special occasion for the NHS.

"It was incredibly moving to gather staff stories and hear what GOSH means to them. It would not have been possible without the contributions of our passionate staff, our creative patients, and a range of fantastic artists.  Thanks to everyone involved, you have created something very special.”

Come with Me will be on display throughout the hospital over the coming months.

The project

The poem was created as part of Our National Health Stories project. Led by the Arts in Hospitals Network, of which GOSH is a member, 19 Trusts from across the country collaborated on this project to celebrate NHS staff and platform their own stories through artwork. Different forms of artwork - music, poetry, drawings, paintings, writing - were created for this project.

The poem was brought to life through animation created with patients and families, led by artist Lily Sakula. GOSH resident artist Hattie Whitehead was commissioned to create the music.

The GOSH poem and animation were unveiled last night at a special one-off performance directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah at Aviva Studios in Manchester.  The live event in Manchester was the culmination of six-month programme of creative activity undertaken by thousands of staff in hospitals across England.

In support of the final event, GOSH resident artists also worked together to curate a song and movement piece with the staff who contributed to the poem watching on.

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