A FUNDRAISING campaign to build a rainbow sculpture outside Russells Hall Hospital as a mark of thanks to Dudley's pandemic heroes has topped £25,000.

It means the campaign is only £5k away from reaching its goal of £30,000 to make the Russells Hall Rainbow a reality.

A £1,000 donation from housebuilding firm Taylor Wimpey helped boost the running total for the project which will see the creation of a rainbow made out of multi-coloured glass hearts, designed by Dudley artist Steve Field.

The sculpture is set to serve as a permanent mark of thanks outside the hospital to frontline workers for their sacrifice and dedication during the coronavirus pandemic.

A host of organisations and businesses have donated to the scheme, including South Staffs Water, Interserve, Dudley College, University of Wolverhampton, University of Birmingham, Tipton and Coseley Building Society, National Express, Western Power, Stonewater Housing Association and Accord Housing Association.

Upper Gornal and Woodsetton ward councillor Keiran Casey, who launched the project in May, said: “Staff across the country that have worked in our hospitals, care homes and other key roles throughout the pandemic, have played an unbelievably important role. We thought the monument would be the perfect way for us to show our appreciation, but this would not be possible without donations from local businesses.

“On behalf of everyone involved in this important community project, I'd like to say a huge thank you to Taylor Wimpey for their generous support and we can’t wait until the monument is unveiled to the public”

Angie Prince, Sales and Marketing Director at Taylor Wimpey West Midlands, added: “We are so thankful for the amazing work our frontline staff do every single day. We think that the monument is a lovely way to acknowledge the vital role they played in keeping our country safe.

“In such unprecedented times, it means a great deal that we are able to offer our support to such a worthy cause and we are looking forward to seeing the monument once it’s unveiled to the public.”

Any money raised over £30,000 will be donated to the Dudley Group NHS Charity to support the wellbeing of staff.

Donations from the public can be made to the appeal here.

The Russells Hall Rainbow follows the decision of Dudley councillors to award frontline staff Freedom of the Borough in recognition of their work, which is the highest honour the council can bestow.