Floral display to pay tribute to city’s key workers

Published: Monday, 1st June 2020

A floral display is being constructed in the city centre as a gesture of thanks from Birmingham City Council to key workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The installation, in front of the Council House in Victoria Square, features as its centrepiece the NHS logo surrounded by a rainbow and other items associated with key workers or community activity during the pandemic.

All the features will be made up of flowers that were originally due to be used as part of the city council’s 2020 Chelsea Flower Show entry.

Following the cancellation of the event, the flowers are being put to this alternative use, along with items that formed part of past entries, including a floral double decker bus, a nod to the public transport services that have continued to operate during the lockdown for key workers.

To reflect the retail workers who kept up the supply of essential items during lockdown, there will be a planted-out shopping trolley. The display will also mark the contribution from our refuse and street cleansing teams with some planted-out bins. 

The edging will be a mixture of the posters of support that council workers and employees from partner organisations have received.

Birmingham’s Chelsea sponsor, Veolia, has kindly agreed to fund the changes, to enable the 10 metre x 2 metre display to be developed.

Cllr John O’Shea, Cabinet Member for Street Scene and Parks at Birmingham City Council, said: “Our Parks and Nurseries team never cease to amaze with their creativity and resourcefulness.

“It’s great that we have been able to find a fitting alternative use for the flowers and plants that would have been used at Chelsea – as well as being a way to demonstrate our gratitude, it symbolises our commitment to reuse and recycling wherever possible.

“The finished display will hopefully be appreciated by everyone who has played a part in keeping the city safe and operational during these challenging times. On behalf of everyone at the city council, I would like to repeat our thanks to everyone involved and to the parks staff for doing this.”

Mark Powell, General Manager at Veolia in Birmingham, said: “Birmingham residents have been very supportive of our teams on the front line and we are proud to sponsor this exhibit honouring all the city's key workers during the pandemic.

“Repurposing the plants that were intended for the Chelsea Flower Show aligns with Veolia's values on reusing and recycling resources and our shared appreciation for those who have contributed most in these difficult times.”

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