Over 6,000 people have become part of Yorkshire history this week as their names have been laser etched on to the Heart of Steel at Meadowhall.
The engravings, each representing a special story or person, join the thousands that already adorn the 136 curved panels that make up the impressive 2.4-metre steel sculpture created by artist Steve Mehdi.
Installed at Meadowhall earlier this year, the Heart of Steel has already raised over £100,000 through engraving donations to help the British Heart Foundation progress its life-saving research into heart and circulatory diseases. And, as more and more names are added to the heart during the months ahead, this figure is only expected to rise.
The long term goal of the Heart is to sit within The Steel Man, a much-anticipated future landmark, also created by Steve Mehdi, which will overlook Sheffield and act as a gateway to the region. Once filled with up to 150,000 names, the 1138kg super alloy heart will be included inside the 32 metre Steel Man. This latest set of engravings takes the team one step closer to that vision.
As a leading supporter of the Yorkshire community, Meadowhall has placed the Heart of Steel in prime position at the centre of its mall outside H. Samuel. From here, customers can marvel at the carefully-crafted sculpture and recognise a special person in their life by permanently etching their name onto the heart. In doing so, they will also join the thousands of people who have already donated to the project and will now be able to see their touching tributes on the finished sculpture at the centre.
Darren Pearce, Centre Director for Meadowhall, said: “From the moment it arrived here at Meadowhall, the Heart of Steel has received fantastic feedback from our customers – some of which have travelled many miles to see the names of those they love brought to life. Having operated from the heart of Sheffield for almost 30 years, we’re incredibly proud to play our part in the making of this piece of Yorkshire history along with the many other great local businesses that have supported the project. It truly is an honour to host it here in our mall.”
Nicola Jones, Fundraising Manager at the British Heart Foundation, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the public’s response to the heart and it’s fantastic that in just three months we’ve raised £107,000 to help fund lifesaving research. Heart and circulatory disease devastates the lives of millions of families in Yorkshire and all over the UK. That’s why we’re proud that the Heart of Steel project has galvanised people throughout the community to work together to help us beat heartbreak forever. We think it’s fantastic that people can be a part of history by engraving their name, or the name of a loved one, on the Heart of Steel, whilst also helping to fund our vital research into conditions including coronary heart disease, stroke, vascular dementia and diabetes.”
The software records the location of each name and imports the data into a touchscreen app, allowing visitors to easily find their names on the heart.