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Essex & Herts Air Ambulance unveils supporter sculpture at its North Weald airbase

Three Harlow College tutors with Roy, Jane and Leah at sculpture unveiling

Marking the culmination of a three year design competition in collaboration with Art and Design students at Harlow College, a unique sculpture has been unveiled at Essex & Herts Air Ambulance’s (EHAAT) North Weald Airbase by winning student, Leah Jelf. 

Funded by corporate partners and suppliers to EHAAT, the sculpture, called ‘Reflection’, was designed by Leah and voted the most popular by the judges. Her initial concept was based around a 3D Stonehenge-inspired take on the rotor-graphic element within the EHAAT logo. She then worked with EHAAT to modify the design ready for installation. 

Leah, who is now studying Fine Art at UWE Bristol said: “My idea for the design was that ‘Reflection’ offers a place for visitors, especially patients and their families, to sit, reflect and read inspiring quotes.” 

The Harlow College Design Project collaboration saw twenty-seven Art and Design students submit proposals, which were whittled down to just ten by a panel of judges. Five designs were shortlisted and then put to a vote by staff and volunteers from all areas of the charity, with Leah’s entry being chosen for installation at EHAAT’s airbase at North Weald. 

The unveiling of Leah’s winning design follows on from a sister sculpture, designed by competition runner-up Keira Harkett, and which took its place outside the entrance to EHAAT’s Earls Colne airbase in 2021. Called ‘Supporting Us, Supporting You’, Keira’s sculpture symbolises the many people needed to support the charity. 

Leah unveiled the sculpture along with EHAAT Trustee Roy Marfleet, and CEO Jane Gurney, who said, “Many congratulations to Leah for creating an outstanding sculpture that will be seen by all who visit us here at North Weald. We were delighted to be able to work with her and are thrilled with what she has achieved.

“The judges were hugely impressed with how all of the Art & Design students’ at Harlow College came to understand how EHAAT works, and all the elements needed to remain operational, crew, volunteers, staff and community support. This has been a fantastic journey for both the charity and students, and we’re excited that staff and visitors will be able to enjoy this unique installation for years to come. 

“Our very grateful thanks go to the Harlow College tutors, who oversaw this project and all of the Art & Design students who took part. Thank you also to our corporate partners and suppliers; without their support this project would not have been possible. I would also like to thank SRC Aggregates and MDS for donating materials, time and expertise to the project.” 

Karen Harrison, Assistant Academy Manager for Visual Arts at the College, said: “Working with EHAAT was a fantastic experience and the students were able to put the skills and knowledge they had learnt in college into a real-life situation. 

“For me, Keira’s design represents the enthusiasm and motivation we met from everyone we had contact with at EHAAT- from CEO to volunteers, paramedics, architects, the production team and many more. Leah’s winning sculpture represents a quiet determination to save lives and to reflect on the impact EHAAT has on the local community.”