The West Midlands leading independent grant-giving charity, Heart of England Community Foundation, has partnered with renowned local artist, Foka Wolf, this month. The anonymous Birmingham-based artist has installed three art attractions across the region, in celebration of the Foundation’s biggest capital grants fund, Building Better Lives.

To kick off Heart of England’s campaign, #iHeartWestMids, Foka Wolf has created three pieces of art to celebrate the charities that received £3.1 million from the BBL project; St Basils, YMCA Birmingham and Black County Women’s Aid. The bespoke art pieces commemorate the support and community spirit within the West Midlands, whilst also highlighting the amazing work carried out by the three charities supported by the Foundation.

The artworks will be available to view throughout the month of July and can be found in Great Western Arcade (Birmingham), West Orchards Shopping Centre (Coventry) and Queens Square Shopping Centre (West Bromwich), honouring the three locations of the charities helping to build brighter futures for people across the region. The Foundation looks forward to seeing the local communities engage with the art, and share their photos in the mirror across social media using the hashtag #iHeartWestMids.

Commenting on the campaign, Foka Wolf said: 

“It has been fantastic to work with the Heart of England Community Foundation team to honour the Building Better Lives project through these pieces. The legacy of the funding will help so many people in the region, and hearing about the collaborative spirit of the charities working together is truly awe-inspiring.

“When designing the installations, we added a mirror to the centre of each one, so that those across Birmingham, Coventry and the Black Country recognise that they too are part of the art. We wanted to show how integral community is to the Foundation’s work, and also remind people of the role that we all play in being local heroes.”

The #iHeartWestMids campaign is also set to include a Heart of England takeover of the West Midlands Metro, in which passengers will see information about the funding, and how it’s helping beneficiaries of the three charities throughout their journey.

At the end of 2020, the Foundation announced that the St Basils Coventry-based accommodation – funded by the BBL scheme – had opened its doors. The brand-new space at Black Country Women’s Aid is set to open later this summer, whilst the 27 self-contained flats at YMCA are set to open in early 2022. 

Commenting on BBL and the Foundation’s #iHeartWestMids campaign, Tina Costello, Chief Executive at Heart of England Community Foundation, said:

Building Better Lives is something that the Foundation is really proud of, and we’re so pleased to see the progress that has been made since we launched the funding in November 2019. When choosing the charities to work with on this project, we hand-selected St Basils, YMCA and Black Country Women’s Aid, as the services they offer to our region are indispensable. We look forward to seeing the rest of the project complete and witnessing first-hand how the funding helps people across the West Midlands.

“As we head into July, the Foundation will be celebrating the Building Better Lives programme, and the three charities supported with our #iHeartWestMids campaign. The support for our local area has been amazing over the last 12 months, and this campaign is about commemorating why we love the West Midlands and the charities that support our communities.”

For more information about Heart of England Community Foundation and its #iHeartWestMids campaign, visit:www.heartofenglandcf.co.uk.

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