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Happy Birthday Florence Nightingale!

Local connections to a famous nurse whose name we all know

SI Salisbury are proud of their member Louise Jordan, a singer songwriter who specialises in showcasing the stories of remarkable women from the past. To coincide with Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday on 12th May, Louise will be Artist of the Week next week with Wiltshire Creative’s new free online Connects programme. There will be an interview with John Cox, some extracts of the live show and a downloadable resource for families shared throughout the week.

Louise Jordan

Louise is part of the organising team for ‘Her Salisbury Story’. Her Salisbury Story is a Heritage Funded project aiming to write the city’s women back into the history books. Whilst Florence Nightingale might be a recognisable name, her local connections are perhaps less familiar and Florence’s work as a nurse often overshadows her pioneering work as a statistician. Salisbury’s STEM project is a core element of the Club’s work and continues to go from strength, encouraging secondary school students in Salisbury to consider careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Louise says: “As an artist a project becomes much more personal when the subject I’m working on has local links. I spent my teenage years in Salisbury and my earlier childhood in Romsey, so I was fascinated to find out that Florence has a number of connections to the area.”

Louise says of the show: “Florence’s impact is wide ranging and far reaching. Her legacy is relevant at the moment in particular for perhaps obvious reasons. Two of the key themes I encountered when researching and writing the songs and live show (which will now tour in February 2021) are issues around presenting Florence as a STEM role model (in addition to recognising her nursing work during the Crimean War). The way she is discussed in educational resources tends towards carrying out domestic chores such as cooking, cleaning and asking male engineers to help her. Certainly not the impression I got of Florence throughout my research! Secondly, Florence’s work on an international level, particularly on healthcare in India, is a reminder of global connectivity whilst her campaigns for ‘healthcare for all’ are timely as the ONS publishes data on the disproportional impact of COVID-19 on people according to socio-economic status and ethnicity, for example.”