On the dawn of THEawards Francesca Hufton reflects on her very first symposium. She understands, engages and reflects the ethos of the butterfly flame beautifully. I adore how this small organic community continues to grow.

The vital next steps are how to grow the impact without damaging the identity. Each member of the community and those connected are all invested in nurturing the poetic heart.

To have achieved the award for the most innovative educator in the recent THEawards is testament to a space of compassion and values within the community. Each week the students voice grows, appreciated, unpromted, and challenged.

Please feel free to email me directly to discuss why CCCU is proving to be a centre for innovation and inclusion. td179@cant.ac.uk

Tom #IIdentifyAsAPoet #poeticnursingheart

The therapeutic beauty of poetry  

I thought I understood expression and practiced self-acceptance prior to being a part of the Poetic Nursing Heart community. I was naïve. It wasn’t until a few days later that I reflected on what I had achieved whilst being a part of the community, and I soon realised how accepted I felt. I could be myself. I was able to be me and express myself in ways I wasn’t competent at doing before.  

The unique experience encouraged me to think about my identity, and the connection I have towards my emotions. Emotions have a lot to do with our interpretation of an event, and the Poetic Nursing Heart community enabled me to discreetly let my inner thoughts free. Like a butterfly, it was beautiful and creative, and I felt a wonderful sense of freedom. It was like I had engaged myself in a therapy that I had always wanted to involved in.  

There were no, “why do you feel this way”, or, “what does that mean?” – it was pure expression, it felt real. I had never written or even read poetry before being invited into the community, and I soon discovered that poetry was an expression in writing that I couldn’t achieve anywhere else. It was a form of art with an unbounded meaning. I also realised that my new love for expressive art had the opportunity to positively impact others who may have experienced similar traumas in their life.  

In nursing, we are often reminded of the importance of unconditional positive regard, and I feel the true value of this when I am a part of the Poetic Nursing Heart community. My first engagement with the Poetic Nursing Heart community enabled me to understand the value and therapeutic purposes of poetry in a group setting. The group dynamics initiated a sense of hope and freedom, and I was provided with comfort and acceptance that I have not felt or experienced previously. Communicating through poetry and art when you are struggling to talk about a personal trauma was like finding a new meaning to life. Dance has always been my therapy, but like music, I realised that listening to the beautiful poetry of others vividly encompassed emotions which everybody could relate to. Like dance, it was powerful, sentimental and spoke a universal language. I am grateful that the community naturally promotes independence, creativity and acceptance. Without these, I doubt I would have felt as valued and as appreciated as I did.  

Francesca Hufton, Mental Health Nursing Student