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Michael Rosen joins hospital staff in Covid poetry reading

8:30 am  //  18th March 2021


Former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen joined staff from Southport and Ormskirk hospitals for a reflection of a year with Covid-19.

Today is the anniversary of the first positive Covid result for an inpatient at Southport hospital.

Covid, one year on: a reflection” is a 20-minute film with contributions from Trish Armstrong-Child, chief executive of Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, board non-executive director Gurpreet Singh, and hospital chaplain the Rev Martin Abrams.

The main part of the reflection, however, is a poem inspired by Michael Rosen’s These Are The Hands.

He wrote the poem to mark the 60th anniversary of the NHS in 2008. Last year, staff were asked to offer their own lines for a hospital “thought for the day”. Now updated with new contributions, Rosen will join staff in a reading of the poem as part of the day’s reflection.

He fell ill with Covid last March and spent 47 days in intensive care. By the time he went home in June, he had lost most of the sight in his left eye and hearing in his left ear, and had to learn to walk again. He said it was “a pleasure” to contribute to the reading.

Martin Abrams said: “Different organisations are marking a year since the beginning of Covid on different dates and in different ways.

“The hope is the reflection will both grasp the enormity of how life changing the last year has been for so many people while looking forward with hope.”

The film concludes with the song “Defying Gravity” from the musical Wicked. It was recorded by West End Men in support of the NHS last year which, because of a local connection, they have agreed to be used as part of our reflection.

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