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Heart sculptures unveiled to remember colleagues

Heart sculptures at Queen's Hospital and Royal Derby

Two new heart sculptures were officially unveiled this week to remember our colleagues who sadly died from Covid-19 during the pandemic.

During two intimate memorial services, one at Queen’s Hospital Burton and Royal Derby Hospital, family, close friends and colleagues came together to reflect on the last two years and remember those who paid the ultimate price.

As everyone gathered to observe a minutes silence and lay a posy of flowers at the sculptures, a poem was read out to encapsulate how they will act as a lasting memory of the sacrifice, dedication and compassion of our colleagues.

Heart Dedication Poem – by Alison Thorp, Chaplain at Queen’s Hospital Burton

It stands before us, a symbol of pride,

An icon for colleagues who fought side by side.

It remembers the cost, the challenges and the pain,

Of those we have lost and those who remain.


A strong metal heart frames a rainbow of hope

The glass discs an endless kaleidoscope,

With shifting patterns reflecting where we have been,

The battles we’ve fought, the changes we’ve seen.


This heart holds the hard work and the sacrifice,

Especially of those who paid the ultimate price.

It holds all the vision of those that inspired us,

As together we fought to counter this cruel virus.


It holds the hope of those who, in the starkness,

Were able to bring some light in the darkness.

It holds the compassion of each member of staff

Whose names form an unwritten epigraph.


It holds the response from communities here,

Themselves in the grip of heartbreak and fear.

It holds all the love of our family and friends

Providing support to achieve our ends


So, if fear, despair or anxiety plague us

Come stand awhile and recall the courageous

Let crisis, doubt and despondency cease

And feel the strength of this heart’s gentle peace.

The sculptures, which are 3.5 metres tall and house 56 glass discs, have been designed and created by international blacksmith artist Jenny Pickford. Jenny has been working with UHDB for over five years and also designed the Bluebell and Lily sculptures for cancer services and the Florence Nightingale statue as part of the renaming of the community hospital. The heart sculptures were developed based on overwhelming feedback from colleagues who asked for a piece of work based on hearts and rainbows, something that was ‘uplifting’, ‘beautiful’ and a long lasting tribute to the incredible hard work and sacrifices.

Laura Waters, Head of Arts at UHDB, said:  “We wanted to create something really special to celebrate and thank our staff as they continue to work so hard through this pandemic. The elegant heart design bears tribute to the bravery and resilience of our UHDB staff as well as being a tribute to those staff we have so sadly lost during this time. The beautiful glass discs are a reminder of hope and light even in the darkest times. These sculptures are completely unique pieces of work dedicated to the whole staff at UHDB and will serve as a legacy to everyone who worked through this pandemic.

Thank you to Derby & Burton Hospitals Charity for funding the sculptures.