Unhealthy lifestyle in children increases risk of premature and preventable heart disease in later life. The aim of the Healthy Heart Poetry initiative is to encourage interest among children of all ages in lifestyle that helps to keep the heart healthy.
Healthy heart poetry for schools was a theme during the 6th International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine held in London on 22nd May 2015.
Since 2011, 22 schools have received Healthy Heart Awards from the healthy heart charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust. Schools participating in the Healthy Heart initiative receive a Healthy Heart Award certificate to recognize their interest in education about how to keep the heart healthy.
Poet Wendy French described a schools project she undertook with 2015 Hippocrates Prize judge Rebecca Goss as part of a collaboration between the healthy heart charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust and the Hippocrates Initiative. Raphael Shirley read poems by children from the edited anthology Love your Heart which arose from the project.
The Cardiovascular Research Trust established Healthy Heart Poetry in 2013 in partnership with the Hippocrates Initiative.
There is now an annual Healthy Heart Poetry event at which the children have the opportunity to read their poems from the published Anthology, and Healthy Heart Awards are presented to participating schools. Selected poems are published in an anthology, the first of which, Love your Heart, was published in December 2014.
The Poetry and Medicine Symposium was held to mark the announcement of the winners of the 2015 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine. The Hippocrates Prize is an annual award with a closing date of 31st January 2016 for the 2016 Hippocrates Prize.
With a 1st prize of £5000 for the winning poem in the Open International category of £5,000, £5000 for the 1st Prize in the NHS category, and £500 for the Young Poets Award the Hippocrates Prize is one of the highest value poetry awards in the world for a single poem. In its first 5 years, the Hippocrates Prize has attracted over 6000 entries from over 60 countries, from the Americas to Fiji and Finland to Australasia.