Heart of Steel sculpture at Meadowhall passes £500,000 fundraising mark
A giant steel heart at Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre has raised more than £500,000 for charity.
The Heart of Steel sculpture was only unveiled last August, but over 23,000 people have already paid to have their name or that of a loved one engraved upon the striking 2.4 metre tall artwork.
Their donations have now generated more than half a million pounds for the British Heart Foundation, which will help fund life-saving research into heart and circulatory diseases.
Chrish Perera, the charity’s head of field operations, said: “We want to say a huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped us raise over half a million pounds through their support of the Heart of Steel.
“This is an incredible amount of money that will help us to fund life saving research into heart and circulatory diseases – the world’s biggest killers.
“We think it’s fantastic that so many people want be a part of history by permanently etching their name, or the name of a loved one, on the Heart of Steel, helping to power our vital research.
“However, heart and circulatory diseases still devastate the lives of more than seven million people and their families all over the UK. We rely on projects like the Heart of Steel along with the public’s generous support to help us in our mission to beat heartbreak forever.”
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The heart sculpture was designed by former steelworker Steve Mehdi, and created with the generous support of numerous Yorkshire businesses.
The plan is that it will eventually rest within the chest of a towering 32-metre tall Steel Man statue overlooking the M1.
There is space for 150,000 names on its 36 curved panels, together weighing more than a tonne, so there is still the chance for anyone who hasn’t already done so to leave their mark.
Those already commemorated include a number of former steelworkers, loved ones lost to heart disease, and the late Rotherham comedian Barry Chuckle, who was one half of the Chuckle Brothers.
Mr Mehdi said: “It’s wonderful to see that the Heart of Steel has the power to resonate with so many people from all over UK.
“The BHF and I are deeply touched by all those who have donated so far and the stories they have shared. I hope that the Heart will continue to be a success and will serve as a poignant reminder of the work there is still to do to improve the lives of people living with heart disease.”
The Heart of Steel’s success has led to it being shortlisted for two gongs at the prestigious National Fundraising Awards, namely the fundraising campaign of the year and regional campaign of the year.