Champion poet in rhyme with health celebrations in Sandwell and West Birmingham

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Performance poet, comedienne and author Emma Purshouse will be performing at a special public event which is celebrating seven years of local health achievements in Sandwell and West Birmingham.

The celebrations, which have been organised by NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), take place from 12 Noon – 7pm on Thursday 5 September 2018 at West Bromwich Albion Football Ground.

Emma (pictured right), who hails from Wolverhampton, is a poetry slam champion and performs regularly at spoken word nights far and wide. Her appearances include, The Cheltenham Literature Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival, Much Wenlock Poetry Festival and Solfest. She has supported the likes of John Hegley, Holly McNish and Carol Ann Duffy.rsz emma purshouse

Emma will be adding her poetic talents to the celebrations at 12.45pm on 5 September by performing a series of poems on the theme of health and wellbeing. She has been particularly been inspired to write on themes of mental health and immunisation.

With measles cases on the rise again, Emma hopes that one of her poems will inspire families to get protected from this serious disease. “When Edward Jenner tested an idea that being infected by cowpox would protect against catching small pox, he used his gardener’s eight-year-old son, James Phipps, to experiment,” says Emma. “You have to wonder how Jenner got the family to agree.  This poem goes some way to explain how I feel.”

Dr Ian Sykes, Chair of NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, said:

“Emma’s poems are truly inspirational, and we are delighted that Emma is honouring us with a special performance at our public event on 5 September. This is an ideal opportunity for local people to hear outstanding poetry, find out about the key achievements that have resulted in a step-change in local health and celebrate all that the benefits that the local NHS brings to families and communities.”

Local GP and The Worshipful Mayor of Sandwell, Councillor Dr Ann Jaron, will be officially opening the celebrations at midday.

The event will be staged in two parts with a celebratory ‘drop in’ event from 12 noon – 3pm; and then the CCG’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) event taking place from 4pm – 7pm. Everyone is invited to attend the whole day, but people will need to book their place at the AGM event in advance by contacting the CCG’s engagement team on 0121 612 1447 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The ‘drop in’ fun event will include healthy stage shows, quizzes and games, and will include appearances from Flo the Friendly Dragon and her wizard companion, Baggie Bird and some elaborate nurse characters. There will also be Tai chi demonstrations and exercises around postural stability.

Sophie Rose De-Bear will be performing during the evening’s live entertainment. The 17-year-old student from George Salter Academy in West Bromwich wowed judges with her sensational, thought-provoking dance performance on the impact of knife crime at the Sandwell SHAPE Your Talent contest.