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Essex Air Ambulance selects winning designs for airbase sculptures

23 Jul Essex Air Ambulance selects winning designs for airbase sculptures

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) has chosen the designs for two sculptures which will have pride of place outside the charity’s airbases at North Weald and Earls Colne.

Twenty-seven design students from Harlow College submitted designs which were whittled down by a panel of judges to a final five. The panel included CEO Jane Gurney, Pam Withrington (Director of Fundraising & Marketing), Claire Smith (Trustee), Mark Potter (Hurley Porte & Duell Chartered Architects) and Neil Quiddington (Simplify Branding).

Claire Smith, mother of an airlifted patient and a trustee of the charity said: “It has been a pleasure to be involved with this project, and I have been immensely impressed with the creativity, flare and dedication shown by the students of Harlow College. I know that the chosen designs will be wonderful additions to our air bases at North Weald and Earls Colne, and have no doubt that they will provide inspiration to all in the EHAAT community.

“Well done to the winners, and all the participants – they should feel justifiably proud of their efforts.”

As part of the project, many of the students made a visit to the charity’s North Weald airbase earlier this year to learn more about its work and meet some of the crew.

The winning designs, from student Leah Jelf and Kiera Harkett, were then selected by EHAAT crew, staff and volunteers. Kiera’s design will be placed outside the Earls Colne airbase later this year, while Leah’s will be installed at the charity’s brand-new North Weald airbase when it opens next year.

Leah was inspired by the many people across Essex, Hertfordshire and beyond who have been helped by EHAAT: “Deriving inspiration from the patients and their stories was my priority as I hope to have these stories and experiences engraved into my design.”

She was delighted to be chosen: “Being selected as one of the winners for this project felt really cool as we had been working on it as a class for a while. Knowing that my work and personal interpretations of the charity had been acknowledged and congratulated was really great. I’m really proud of my class for the effort we all put in for a good cause.”

Kiera Harkett, whose design will be installed outside the charity’s Earls Colne airbase said: “I really loved it, it was a great experience. I was shocked and amazed to be chosen. I did a lot of research on the air ambulance and I learned that there is a real community of fundraisers who help support it, so I decided to put that in my design.”

Jane Gurney, CEO of EHAAT, said: “Both Leah and Kiera should be really proud of what they have achieved. Before the lockdown it was wonderful to meet the students from Harlow College and see their work. Everyone was so enthusiastic and inspirational and we were blown away by their sheer hard work and creativity. I am really looking forward to seeing these two very special sculptures being unveiled in the future.”

Stacey Gardner, Senior Tutor in Art & Design at Harlow College, said: “The project has been an amazing experience for the students from the start. The EHAAT team were so passionate about the project and very engaging and this created a real motivation for the students.

“After weeks of researching, development ideas and creating samples and models, all of the students were able to present their work to the EHAAT team. The selection process was very exciting and it was fantastic that all of the students had the opportunity to work on a real life brief.

“I was so impressed with how the students individually interpreted the brief and so proud of how well they professionally and enthusiastically communicated their design concepts to the EHAAT team. We are all looking forward to the big reveal!”

For the latest news about EHAAT’s new airbase at North Weald and to see time-lapse footage of the build in progress visit Supporters can be part of the build through the charity’s Buy-a-Brick campaign.