Meadowhall is all heart when it comes to being part of the community

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Meadowhall Shopping Centre has launched a unique art project uniting a variety of charities, community groups and partners as part of its 25th birthday celebrations this year.

Entitled “Meadowhall Hearts”, the Centre has commissioned a series of 5ft 3D heart sculptures to be created and distributed to partners, charities and community groups from across the city.

All the groups are being supported by professional artists to turn the “blank canvas” hearts into something that represents their group and the wider community as a whole. Meadowhall Centre Director, Darren Pearce, explained: “’We are celebrating 25 years of bringing people together so we wanted to do something unique to mark our birthday celebrations. It includes the many communities, businesses and charities from across Sheffield that really embraces our spirit and everything that is part of the ‘make-up’ of Meadowhall.

“The Hearts project stood out as it gave the Centre a chance to work with a variety of groups and community partners but allowed them to put their own stamp on the installations, because the celebrations are not just about us; it’s about the part we all play in the wider Sheffield community.”

Artistic workshops have already started with 11 partners which include Sheffield Children’s Hospital, St Luke’s Hospice, Wincobank community and the Sheffield art group, Ignite Imaginations.

Once the hearts are complete they will be unveiled at the birthday celebration weekend at Meadowhall, on Friday, September 4. Each one will have a plaque attached explaining the concept and artistic development. They will then stay in situ for several weeks before being returned to their creators to be displayed in the community or auctioned as a fund-raiser.

The groups or organisations that make up the Meadowhall Hearts project are:

St Lukes’ Hospice, Sheffield Star Newspaper, Darnall community, Wincobank community, Ignite Imaginations Sheffield, Sheffield F.A. Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Sheffield City Trust, Marketing Sheffield, The Source skills academy Tinsley Community

A final heart is being designed and decorated by Meadowhall staff, shoppers and retailers to complete the collection.

Fran Morley, from St Luke’s Hospice, said: “St Luke’s are delighted to be involved in the Meadowhall Hearts project. We are working closely with both our patients and an artist to create a design that captures our patient’s experiences of the care they receive from St Luke’s. We are very grateful to be Meadowhall’s charity partner and look forward to displaying our heart at the Centre and celebrating Meadowhall’s anniversary.”

Ann Bentley from the Wincobank community group has already attended some of the design workshops as part of the project. She said: “As a proud neighbour to Meadowhall we’ve always had a very close on-going relationship over the years. We’re delighted and honoured to be playing our part in the Meadowhall 25th anniversary celebrations and having the opportunity to design our own community heart, as well as the Wincobank community being represented in the design itself.”

Whilst Meadowhall remains tight-lipped regarding the events happening over the birthday weekend, Centre Director Darren Pearce hints at big things for the three day celebrations. “We hope that every visitor to Meadowhall over this special weekend will get to see and enjoy something that is linked to our celebrations and add to the spirit of the occasion,” added Darren.