Celebrating arts and heritage this Black History Month
The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT) is kicking off Black History Month today by installing a unique piece of cultural artwork across its hospital and community sites.
The campaign, which takes place nationally across the month of October, aims to shine a light on Black history and to increase knowledge of how Black, African and Caribbean colleagues have positively shaped our society. With this in mind, the Trust’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Employee Voice Group partnered up with the Trust’s Arts and Heritage Steering Group to create a visual display of our appreciation for staff and patients to enjoy.
Established in the Autumn of 2020, the Arts and Heritage Group supports projects which use music, drama, poetry – and other fields within the arts sector – to enhance patient experience and increase historical awareness (particularly in relation to the Trust, it’s workforce and the wider city).
Drawing on content from various staff members, the Black History Month project, pictured here on display at New Cross Hospital’s main corridor, references iconic people – including nurse Mary Seacole – traditional artefacts, Caribbean proverbs and a testimonial from the employee voice group.
Professor Steve Field CBE, Chairman of The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Chairman of the Trust’s Arts and Heritage Group, said: “As the group’s inaugural project, this artwork celebrates the rich diversity of the communities we serve and recognises the contributions made by Black, African and Caribbean people, both to the city and to the advancement of healthcare.
“The panels, which have been so wonderfully crafted with the support of the Trust’s charity and the BAME Employee Voice Group, look to raise awareness within staff groups of the history of the Black, African and Caribbean community and spark conversations in which we ask questions and learn about each other’s culture and heritage. By immersing ourselves in where people came from and what their traditions are, we can increase our cultural sensitivity, absorb new information and view things from different perspectives. This helps to enable personal growth and strong working relationships.”
Representatives from the Trust’s Clinical Illustration team, Library and Knowledge Services and Communications team also contributed to the design, with funding being sourced directly from the Trust’s charity.
Sue Rawlings, Chair of The RWT Charity, said: “The charity has been incredibly proud to fund this project as a celebration of culture and a nod to the work of both modern day and historical figures –all of whom demonstrate how ambition and will-power can lead to great achievement and positive change.
“We want all staff members to feel a sense of pride – pride in themselves, in their culture and in the organisation they work for. I hope this piece of artwork enables staff to feel valued and appreciated.”
Today’s installation is but one of many activities to mark Black History Month 2021 here at RWT. Staff, patients and partners can learn more over the coming weeks by searching ‘The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust’ on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.