Poetry project helps staff with Covid healing process at Salisbury Foundation Trust

For many people working at hospitals across BSW, the Covid pandemic was a distressing and traumatic experience.

As part of a recovery process, staff at Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust recently commissioned a spoken word project to reflect on what colleagues and their families had been through – exploring not just what they had physically done but how it felt to work during the pandemic.  The project ensured the emotional experience of staff was recorded and made available to the public.

The Trust commissioned award-winning poet Martin Figura to interview staff, exploring how it felt to be at the frontline of the pandemic response. This has resulted in an emotional collection of poems, titled My Name is Mercy.

The collection has now been published. Some of the poems have been recorded by Oscar winning actress Olivia Colman and shared via YouTube. Others were performed during a staff awards evening and during a service of reflection at Salisbury Cathedral.

The project has received some highly positive feedback, with Mark Urban from BBC Newsnight calling it a powerful evocation of those times of anguish and crisis. Martin’s words take us back to that time and place, complete with its emotions of pain at the loss, and satisfaction at the many lives saved.” 

The project has also recently won the Internal Communications category at the national NHS Communicate Awards and is shortlisted for a cross public sector award for Putting People First.

You can watch Olivia Colman reading some of the poems here:

Night shift read by Olivia Colmanhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GY3eee7ugzI

Fifth Season read by Olivia Colman https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppZDwIeOtd8

More information on the My Name is Mercy poems is available here: My Name is Mercy