Brookes’ nursing exhibition and student choir a big success

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Brookes 125 nursing 2

Oxford Brookes proudly launched its new exhibition celebrating 125 years of nursing education at Oxford Town Hall yesterday (18 October).

The exhibition is on display for two weeks until Friday 28 October in the Old Museum at the Oxford Town Hall.

Over 50 guests gathered at Oxford Town Hall as Vice-Chancellor Professor Alistair Fitt officially opened the exhibition: “I am delighted to be formally opening this new exhibition which tells the story of Oxford’s nursing history over the last 125 years. It has been carefully put together by Presidents of the Radcliffe Guild past and present as well as Brookes staff.

“Thanks go the entire working group for their efforts in planning all the 125 years of nursing events this year. The planning started 18 months before the first event in January and has continued successfully through the year, engaging the local community.”

I am delighted to be formally opening this new exhibition which tells the story of Oxford’s nursing history over the last 125 years. It has been carefully put together by Presidents of the Radcliffe Guild past and present as well as Brookes staff.

Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor, Oxford Brookes University

The exhibition received a Sharing Heritage grant of over £7,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), and features a collection of pictures, photographs, memorabilia and posters documenting the history of nursing and nurse education from 1891 to 2016.

Mr Peter Zaagman, Principal Lecturer in the Department of Nursing helped put the exhibition together: "It was great to be able to launch this exhibition on the history of nursing in Oxford at the Town Hall, such a historical Oxford setting. It is a great collaboration with the Radcliffe Guild of Nurses and Oxford Brookes.

Brookes 125 nursing exhibition

“In preparing for the exhibition I researched the role of men in nursing, going back to 200 BC. History shows that women only recently became involved in organised care for the ill and disabled, triggered by people like Florence Nightingale. Until that point organised care was the domain of the Army or religious orders, and provided by men. 

“She set up the first 'School of Nursing', which was exclusively for women. From that point the nursing profession became a largely female pursuit. In fact men were barred from the Nurses Register until as recent as 1919.”

Students, staff and alumni from Oxford Brookes also took part in the annual St Frideswide Civic Service at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, which was dedicated to nursing.

Brookes 125 nursing

It featured a performance from a choir of 20 Brookes nursing students singing ‘A patient gives thanks’; inspired by feedback from patients about the nursing care they received.

The song was written especially for the service by Bob Whorton, Chaplain at Sobell House in Oxford and the music was composed by Liz Jestico, Senior Lecturer in Children’s Nursing at the University.

More information about the 125 years of nursing celebrations can be found on the website.

Images: (2) (right to left): Peter Zaagman, Principal Lecturer, Xante Cummings, President of the Radcliffe Guild of Nursing and former President Rita Bayley, Dr Liz Westcott, Head of the Department of Nursing and Dr Sue Schutz, Senior Lecturer.
(3): Liz Jestico, Senior Lecturer in Children's Nursing (centre), and two members of the student nurse choir