As announced in the Sunday Express today, a memorial to remember the bravery of front-line NHS and care workers in the fight against Covid has received Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock’s backing, and sculptors will now begin the carving process.
The 13ft bronze sculpture will honour all NHS and social care heroes who died in the battle against Covid. It will have every one of their names etched into the stone plinth which the sculpture will stand on.
The memorial’s organisers, with support from the Sunday Express newspaper, would now like the public to come up with a fitting name for the memorial. To suggest a name please visit deanrussell.co.uk/nhssculpture.
Dean Russell MP (Watford) is co-chair of the memorial’s organising committee. He sits on the Health and Social Care Committee and helped secure Matt Hancock’s backing for the sculpture. Dean will now lead the public effort to come up with a name for the memorial. Dean said:
“This memorial will be a powerful reminder to all of us of the bravery and sacrifice all of our NHS staff and social care workers have made during this global pandemic. I’m proud to be part of this important project and now we would like the great British public to come up with a fitting name for the memorial.”
Nic Careem proposed the project and is its director. He has previously worked on memorials for Nelson Mandela and Anne Frank. Nic said:
“0n 3 occasions the NHS saved my life so I wanted to do something to remember the Health and social care front-liners who were not as fortunate. When I saw the news everyday of our brave workers selflessly working on the front Iine I decided to set-up a committee for the memorial and asked renowned sculptor Nicola Ravenscroft to design a fitting memorial for decades to come.”
Nicola Ravenscroft is a prominent British Sculptor and renowned artist. She is designing the bronze sculpture which will take around 6 months to be carved and cast by a foundry based in Andover in the UK. Nicola said:
“I am deeply honoured to be commissioned by the visionary Nic Careem, parliamentarians Dean Russell MP and Lord Rami Ranger, co-chairs of The NHS & Social Care Memorial Committee to create a new bronze sculpture, titled “Breath”, in gratitude to our precious NHS, and in enduring memory of those who, on the COVID front line, “gave their love for those in life: their sleep is not in vain”.
Lord Rami Ranger is also co-chair of the memorial’s organising committee:
“The sculpture recognises the life-saving work of the NHS and social care staff during Covid-19 pandemic. It also reflects the gratitude of those who are going about their lives because of the care provided.“
The memorial has received the backing of the Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock:
“Our NHS and social care staff will forever be remembered for their dedication and professionalism throughout the worst public health crisis that we have faced for a century. Some of these modern day heroes lost their lives as they cared for our friends and families, and this statue will serve as a reminder of their sacrifice and their unwavering commitment to keep us all safe. As we begin to try to return to a more normal way of life, each and every person that this monument represents will be forever in my thoughts. They truly represent the best of us.”
The memorial is expected to be ready to unveil in March 2021, to mark one year since the pandemic hit the UK. Family members of those who sadly passed whilst working on the front line in the NHS & social care will be invited to the unveiling.
Currently the committee is in discussions for the location with hopes to place the sculpture in St Thomas’s Hospital Gardens in Westminster, overlooking the House of Commons. The proposed location will act as a permanent reminder to Parliamentarians of the importance of the NHS.