On Wednesday 12 May, International Nurses Day, Arts for Health Partnership Programme will be releasing a new song, ‘We’ll be Back’. This moving tribute, with lyrics written by day care centre healthcare staff from across West Cork and a melody written and performed by musician Liz Clark and staff nurse Paula O’Brien, sends a message of hope to all older people staying safe at home.
The staff who had been re-deployed to swabbing and vaccine Centres were invited to join in this creative project to share their thoughts and experiences of working on the frontline of the pandemic. However, their thoughts turned to the people they used to work with at the daycare and their current situations after isolating for so long.
You can listen to the song from 12 May on the Arts for Health website.
Musician Liz Clark describes her experience of the project:
At the end of last year we were looking for a way to connect with the day care clients again through the Arts For Health Programme when Justine Foster rang me with an idea to focus instead on the day care co-ordinators, knowing they were all dispersed and a project like this might just be a bit of a morale booster. I immediately knew the right person to help me with this project would be my wonderful friend Paula K O’Brien. She is not only a well-established musician, but a staff nurse at Clonakilty Community Hospital. She has worked alongside quite a few of these co-ordinators and shares the hopes and dreams for the clients of the day care as well.
This project was just so hopeful in a time when we needed it most. I got a chance to ring each day care co-ordinator and just chat, laugh about our memories, cry. Each person had their own input and unique view of the situation. But one thing that really prevailed was the sentiment that their clients in the day cares are a strong generation and they think of them like their family, their friends, and their teachers. They are missed desperately, but all feel hopeful and inspired to continue on this course, knowing they’ll be back.
Arts for Health is a partnership programme based in West Cork implementing a managed arts programme for older people in healthcare settings. It takes place in five Community Hospitals, five Day Care Centres and Bantry General Hospital Care of the Elderly Unit. The partners are Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre, Cork County Council, Cork Education & Training Board and the HSE. The HSE is represented through the Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Community Work Department, the Nursing Directors of Community Hospitals and the Day Care Centres, West Cork. The Arts for Health partnership gratefully acknowledges the local support towards the programme with special thanks to Friends of the Day Care Centres.