St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery

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Help St Barbe celebrate the NHS

5 May 2020

Did you know that the World Health Organisation has designated 2020 as the “International Year of the Nurse and midwife”, in honour of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale? Little did the World Health Organisation know that the Covid-19 epidemic would take hold and highlight the role of the NHS staff in such a dramatic manner.

Thursday evenings at 8pm has become a fixture in our isolation, with everyone standing on driveways, on balconies and in supermarkets (yes, even supermarkets!) clapping, cheering, and banging saucepans to show our appreciation of the NHS staff and keyworkers. 

St Barbe would like your help to celebrate the hard work and dedication of nurses, NHS staff and health care professionals. As soon as we can re-open, we are planning an exhibition combining our collections with those collected and curated by the community. Do you have memories of the Maternity Unit or pictures of a relative in a fancy nurse’s uniform? Maybe you were involved with the building of the ‘new’ hospital at Ampress or an ancestor was involved with fundraising for the original Cottage Hospital? Residents have a great tradition of supporting the hospital with its ‘League of Friends’, maybe you’ve played your part in helping them? Another local establishment with links to the NHS is Oakhaven, perhaps you might like to share your memories of this much-loved hospice? We would like to hear from you with your memories and memorabilia. 

What about nursing in the Covid-19 epidemic? What has it meant to the families of loved ones working during the crisis? Have you recently had a baby – how has the isolation affected you? Has anyone taken photos their neighbours clapping for the NHS or the iconic images of rainbows in everyone’s windows? 

Please do let us know how you would like to contribute to this community exhibition here and we will be in touch. We are currently working reduced hours, so please be patient, we will get back to you!

This is an opportunity for our community to reflect on the last few months, a chance for us to work collectively and put something special together to publicly acknowledge what our local healthcare professionals have done for us over this global crisis and to celebrate the future. 

Image from the St Barbe Collection: Nurses at the Cottage Hospital in the 1950s

Help St Barbe celebrate the NHS

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