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Press release for Sculpture: Friendship, Unity & Progress

17 December 2020

A new sculpture has been installed and unveiled at the South Kirkby Waste Management facility. The sculpture was designed and made by local artist Jason Heppenstall, who uses reclaimed metal items to make his impressive creations.

The name “Friendship Unity & Progress” was chosen by Katy Dewrow, a member of staff here at South Kirkby.

This is not only the motto for South Kirkby but also perfectly reflects the meaning behind both the sculpture and the values of Renewi and Wakefield Council.

Friendship is incredibly important, both between individuals and also as a larger community.
Unity between people regardless of their differences leads to a more welcoming and prosperous society. Unity between people and the environment both in their immediate surroundings and the wider world is needed if we are to halt the damage we are doing to the planet and allow the environment to recover and progress.

Progress is being made all the time, yet much more is needed if we are to protect the planet and all those who live on it, not just human life but every creature that is part of the biodiversity of Earth.

The sculpture depicts a Heron, a native bird which can be found in the wetland around South Kirkby, with a globe nestled between its outstretched wings. This strong image represents how nature protects and carries the planet, shielding it from harm whilst growing and changing on its journey.

The piece is made entirely from reclaimed materials, as reusing and recycling materials is one way in which we can do our bit to protect resources. The artist utilised scrap pick axes into his work to acknowledge South Kirkby’s mining heritage.

Cllr Jack Hemingway, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change, said: “We are really pleased to have worked with Renewi to commission this wonderful sculpture, which acknowledges the importance of nature and protecting our environment.

“The themes of friendship and unity could not be more fitting at this current time given the district finds itself in a second national lockdown and times are difficult for everyone.”

Renewi Wakefield Contract Director, David Heseltine has said “The sculpture is a perfect symbol of Renewi’s respect of the environment, our collaboration with the community and our endeavours to ensure future generations benefit from two of our key values – sustainability together”

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