A Picture of Health brings memories to life

Published: Wednesday 28th June 17

Local schoolchildren helped retired nurses celebrate their memories of their past working lives at an exhibition organised by the council’s Community Development Team.

A Picture of Health was inspired by the memories of Wandsworth people who worked for the NHS in the 1950s to the 1970s.

Many nurses left home and travelled from Africa or the Caribbean at a young age, without knowing what to expect from life in England other than what they had seen in films. Once working, they faced long hours, little sleep and a great deal of responsibility.

Picture of Health Exhibition
The memories were drawn from workshops and interviews, and then turned into poetry by artist and poet Charlotte Mew. The words were illustrated by children from the Alton Primary School in Roehampton and children at the hospital. The end result was exhibited at St George’s Hospital earlier this month.

The council’s Community Development Team is part of the sheltered housing department, but works with communities from all over the borough. Other recent project have included the Local Vocals choir for people over 55 and a Men in Sheds group in Battersea. Both projects helped to promote good mental health and reduce social isolation.

Housing spokesman Cllr Clare Salier said: “Our Community Development Team carries out valuable and often unsung work engaging with older people, helping the more isolated to socialise and celebrating their memories. A Picture of Health was a typically excellent project that shone the spotlight on some of our residents that have given so much to our community

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