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Our National Health Stories

Our National Health Stories marks the NHS’ 75th anniversary with a major programme of artistic work created in collaboration with 19 NHS Trusts across England.

The programme will build on the incredible work done within these Trusts, led by the Arts, Heritage and Design in Healthcare Network, a group of arts managers that support arts and culture in hospitals. It will draw out and bring together the stories of NHS colleagues to create a striking portrait of the HS through its people.

Artwork of all different forms - music, poetry, drawings, paintings, writing - is being created through an engagement programme by and with NHS staff. The project will culminate in a finale event in November 2023, developed by a creative team led by Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah. In a day-long, nationwide relay, the work created by colleagues will be performed at hospital sites giving a unique window into the experience of working for our national health service at a time when we need it more than ever.

As part of this national programme, we have a range of workshops and events planned throughout September, with a pinnacle The Story of UHL Carnival event on 23 September, where the national Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah will be joining us.

To book your place for any of the workshops, please contact Creative Health & Heritage Senior Project Manager Sallie Varnam (sallie.l.varnam@uhl-tr.nhs.uk)

Every Object Tells a Story Workshops and Exhibition – 31 August and 7 September

In partnership with the University of Leicester’s School of Museum Studies, colleagues are invited to a medical object handling workshop hosted by Dr Angela Stienne. This will give colleagues the opportunity to explore UHL’s historical collection and create a new collection of objects that tell the story of UHL in 2023.

Thursday 31 August, 12noon – 2pm Odames Library meeting room Leicester Royal Infirmary

Thursday 7 September, 12 noon – 2pm The Secret Garden, Glenfield Hospital

Poet in Residence – 4, 5 and 8 September

Poet Rob Gee will be joining us across all three sites and compile a poem incorporating colleague stories. Rob will be visiting different areas by invitation from teams, as well as in the restaurants. His readings will be recorded and incorporated into the final piece at the UHL Carnival.

Monday 4 September 11am – 4pm Leicester Royal Infirmary

Tuesday 5 September 10.30am – 4pm Glenfield Hospital

Friday 8 September 10.30am – 4pm Leicester General Hospital 

Storytelling Academy Workshops

In partnership with the University of Loughborough’s Storytelling Academy, we are hosting a series of storytelling workshops. The workshops will engage 4 – 6 colleagues who will, share their stories of working for the NHS. The stories will be recorded shared at the Story of UHL Carnival, as well as forming a central part of our contribution to the national programme.

Monday 11 and 18 September, Glenfield: Secret Garden, 5pm – 7pm

Tuesday 12 and 19 September, Leicester Royal Infirmary: Board Room, Victoria Building, 5pm – 7pm

Wednesday 13 and 20 September, General, Large Committee Room, 5pm – 7pm

Colleagues will need to attend two weekly sessions led by the team from Loughborough University (six sessions in all, delivered at each site) and online support to develop their stories following the workshops.

Moving Stories Workshops – 20 and 21 September

Dance for wellbeing workshops are being offered to colleagues. These workshops will explore colleague stories through movement that will feed into the choreography for the UHL Carnival performance piece.

Wednesday 20 September, 2pm – 3.30pm ED Undercroft seminar room, Leicester Royal Infirmary

Thursday 21 September, 2pm – 3.30pm ED Undercroft seminar room, Leicester Royal Infirmary

The Story of UHL Carnival – 23 September

Colleagues are invited to attend this day of engagement and workshops that will culminate in a carnival style performance that will be filmed as our contribution to the national programme. We will be joined by Our National Health Stories, Artistic Director Kwame Kwei Armah. A film will be taken of the day’s activities, which will be overlaid with the poem recording by the poet in residence, which will feature in a BBC broadcast at the end of the year.

Saturday 23 September, 11am – 4pm at the Secret Garden

Contact information - full name, email, telephone etc.

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