Since 2018, a free weekly drop-in choir has been hosted by musician Liz Clark on the Skibbereen Hospital Campus and more recently at Bantry Community Health Care, held over lunch hour and open to all healthcare staff.
This choirs provide a space for the creative exploration, social engagement and physical wellbeing – most importantly an enjoyable place to sing and relax. While the primary aim is participation, participants occasionally perform on site or on tour to another hospital grounds to share and inspire as part of the wider Arts for Health Partnership Programme that takes place across West Cork.
‘I think we can get caught up in work and the day-to-day busyness of things. Sometimes we need to be reminded to take time out for ourselves. …It’s all about engaging with our work colleagues outside of the work environment and having a bit of fun, hopefully a bit of laughter and craic. Just seeing a different aspect of people. People are busy and under pressure at work. In a different environment you get to see a different side of people.’ – Carmel Daly, HSE staff participant
Recognising the location and departments that make up the campus, the artist-led choir is inclusive of all, using music to bond the various departments, buildings and sectors that divide the Campus such as administration, older people care, mental health, public health and management.
Liz Clark describes how it began…’This staff choir started as a project I did in Skibbereen Community Hospital when I was resident musician there. As part of a wider project, called 110 Skibbereen Girls, I brought staff and residents together to welcome the Australian Ambassador and guests. I found the staff very talented and eager to continue, so it was then the HSE Staff Choir was born!’
If you are interested in joining we’d love to hear from you, just drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact your HSE Staff Wellbeing representative
The Skibbereen HSE Campus Choir is the subject of a case study on artsandhealth.ie here: https://www.artsandhealth.ie/case-studies/skibbereen-hse-campus-choir/
They can also be heard in many Arts for Health project such as ‘The river goes on forever’