The HSE annual staff Christmas Concert takes place online today Tuesday 21st at 4pm with choirs and special guests participating from across the country. The event is open to all, both healthcare professionals and the public who can register here. The event will also be streamed live via Zoom on the HSE Health and Wellbeing YouTube channel.
Sarah McCormack, Lead for Staff Health in HSE Health and Wellbeing explains: “After another very challenging year for the staff of the health services, it is important to offer supports and information to support the health and wellbeing of our staff. The promotion of singing and of workplace choirs is one of many health and wellbeing initiatives for staff in the HSE. Singing and choir singing has been proven as an effective health promoting activity to relieve stress and engage with a group on a shared challenge. In the health service, staff choirs have also offered a way to build and improve staff engagement. Many of the choirs are made up of health service staff from different areas of hospital and community services, from different disciplines and different grades, all coming together to practice and perform for their colleagues and service users.”
The concert will include performances from:
- The Keynotes Choir: Roscommon Mental Health Service Staff and Service Users
- The Heartbeats – Tallaght University Hospital Choir
- HSE North Dublin Choir
- St. John’s Hospital Choir, Limerick:
- HSE Remote Christmas Choir
- Tulla Secondary School, Co. Clare
- Special guests the Dublin Gospel Choir
- David Brophy’s Frontline Choir
- And many more….
A group of HSE staff have come together to record a once off remote performance online of the Beach Boys classic ‘God Only Knows’ which will be played during the concert.
Joe Healy, Conductor of The Keynotes Choir (Roscommon Mental Health Services staff and service users) and Training Centre Instructor, Roscommon Mental Health Service: “They say no knowledge is ever wasted and this week proves it. We were asked to sing a song for the HSE virtual Christmas Concert which airs this week. A rough mix of O Holy Night was put together for each individual with a separate ‘take’ for the harmonies. We recorded everybody in pairs, mixed it and prayed it would work out. It did. Participants were shattered but ecstatic. During the recording my eyes were truly opened. When ordinary people are thrown together in a common but unfamiliar task, the reaction is the same – anxiety, fear, comradery, relief. The next day, we had to do D’Video! We all met on the grounds of Plunkett Community Nursing Unit, Boyle, Co. Roscommon. The same emotion prevailed but multiplied by ten. It was freezing, but not many felt the cold. Then it was finished. We nearly blinded each other with the beam of our smiles. Hands were thrown up in the air with relief and bliss. This was as close as you are going to get to total happiness. For all of us, for those ten minutes, the world was fixed.”
The video of the choir performing O Holy Night can be viewed at https://youtu.be/1AL-OnY4HwQ
HSE Health & Wellbeing offers a range of services to staff in order to help them make and maintain healthier lifestyle choices, which can be very challenges for a significant number of our staff at this time. These services include, supports in areas such as stopping smoking, healthy eating at work, positive mental health and wellbeing and maintaining regular exercise routines.
For more information visit www.hse.ie/healthandwellbeing.