LONDON – The COVID-19 pandemic has placed NHS staff under extreme pressure, balancing personal and professional commitments, risk of infection to themselves and their families, and their duty to care for patients. Sickness rates in April 2020 for NHS staff in England were at their highest in a decade, with anxiety, stress, depression or another psychiatric illness reported as the most common cause. Children within these families have also suffered, often without the means to process or communicate how it is affecting them. Together/Apart NHS offers both a shared activity with a parent or guardian, and a parallel story to open conversation safely.
Together/Apart NHS is for families with children from 4 to 10 years old, and uses storytelling, problem solving and interactive games to bring everyone together for 60 mins of escapism and bonding with the adventures of Captain P.I.Lot and the Super Computer in space.
Artistic directors Rachel and Jemma said: “We were inspired by some of our friends who work in the NHS, seeing how worried their children have been about their parents made us want to do something for them and others in similar situations. It’s also our way of saying ‘Thank You’ to NHS Front Line workers for all they have been doing during the pandemic.”.
Brigid Larmour, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Watford Palace Theatre says: “We are delighted to be working with Fly High Stories in bringing their digitally inventive show Together/Apart to the families of staff at Watford General – whose children may had a worrying time while their parents confront the pandemic. Independent and freelance theatre workers have also had a challenging time, and we are pleased to be able to support Fly High Stories with funding from the government’s Cultural Recovery Fund – and at the same time to say thank you to our amazing local hospital colleagues for everything they do for our community.”
Matthew Wright, Programme and Marketing Manager at Harrow Arts Centre adds “Harrow Arts Centre are very excited to be supporting Fly High Stories in offering an ‘out of this world’ theatrical experience to the children of key workers in Harrow and beyond. We owe a great deal to those who were on the front line at Northwick Park Hospital during the Covid-19 outbreak last year and we hope this special performance goes some way towards saying thank you!”
The project will take place on 12th June 2021, with free tickets being made available to staff at Northwick Park Hospital and the West Herts Hospital NHS trust. For more information, visit their website