What We Go Through Together
What We Go Through Together, the poignant new display at Leeds City Museum made up of 600 carefully folded butterflies which were created by members of the Adult Critical Care team in Leeds.
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Beautiful butterflies pay tribute to frontline NHS Staff

Hundreds of stunning origami butterflies have taken flight at Leeds City Museum in a moving tribute to the remarkable efforts of the city’s frontline NHS workers.

Entitled What We Go Through Together, the poignant new display is made up of 600 carefully folded butterflies which were created by members of the Adult Critical Care team in Leeds. Caring for the people of Leeds throughout the darkest days of the pandemic, the team gives support to those with life threatening conditions through high dependency and intensive care.

Each individual butterfly carries a personal message from its creator, with the full collection being brought together by local artist Aimee Grundell, who used the butterfly as a symbol of transformation, re-birth and optimism. The display can now be seen in Leeds City Museum’s community corridor, where it will be until June 6.

Catherine Balcombe, lead quality nurse with the Adult Critical Care team at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said:

“The past two years have been incredibly difficult and emotionally challenging for everyone working on the front lines of the NHS who has seen first-hand the toll COVID has taken on countless staff, patients, families and loved ones. This project has given us an important chance to use art as part of our own healing process and to express our sadness, solidarity and hope in a unique and beautiful way.”

Staff made the butterflies during a ‘reset day’ programme organised by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. The days were organised to help staff prioritise their own wellbeing after the enormous challenges the teams faced during the pandemic and were run in partnership with wellbeing workshop providers Mind It and Optimus Team Learning.

Mind It director Lucile Allen-Paisant and Optimus Team Learning director Simon Thomas said:

“It has been an honour to support the dedicated Leeds Adult Critical Care team on their journey of recovery, following the adversity they have come through over the past two years. Alongside their selflessness, prioritising self-care and wellbeing has never been more important.”

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education said:

“Our NHS staff have shouldered such an incredible burden over the past two years, sacrificing so much fighting to keep each and every one of us safe and to care for those hit hardest by the pandemic. This beautiful display is a fitting tribute to their extraordinary efforts and a timely reminder to us all to look after and support each other in the days to come.”

For more information on the display, please visit: www.museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk

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