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Students honour local ‘heroes’ with art exhibition

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Creative students from Telford College have paid a touching tribute to some of Shropshire’s most inspirational characters by creating a special exhibition.

They have been working with The Veterans’ Orthopaedic Service in the run-up to the 80th anniversary of D-Day to create an artwork exhibition called Honouring Our Heroes.

It features works in various media including paint, print, digital, textiles, mixed media and ceramics which will be on display at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Gobowen,

The exhibition will be launched at 7pm on June 6 with a private viewing event for specially-invited guests. It will then be open to the public for the rest of this month.

Tutor Anna Bartlett said: “We are very proud of the exhibition and all the hard work our students have put in. It’s a wonderful display of all forms of creative work that is a very impressive representation of some very special people.

“At the time of such an important anniversary, it’s vital that we all take the time to recognise the bravery and sacrifice of so many, and our exhibition is a reminder of the service which all kinds of people have given.”

The Veterans’ Orthopaedic Service began at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry in 2013, led by Lieutenant Colonel Carl Meyer.

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He commissioned the students at Telford College to create portraits for a broad range of staff at the hospital – from surgeons, doctors and nurses, to veteran volunteers, league of friends and cleaning technicians.

The medical photographer at the hospital took photos of the staff and, where possible, a brief statement was produced to describe their background.

Telford College tutor Claire Routledge said: “As part of their course work and work experience, students from our art and design courses selected a name out of a hat to be the subject of their portrait project.

“They took part in workshops before choosing the material and technique they wanted to use to create their portrait, and we now have 52 portraits in a range of sizes and formats.

“It has been a fantastic experience for our students and we’re delighted to have worked with the veterans and the support service.”

The core aims of the Veterans’ Orthopaedic Service are to provide veterans with ‘gold standard’ orthopaedics, provided by a military-led team with welfare support.

It treats more veterans than any other hospital-based service with over 30,000 veterans receiving care since 2013. The service is provided completely within the NHS, receiving no external support.

It has the unswerving support of the hospital board, the CEO and hospital staff at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital. Many hospital staff have no direct military link but strongly support the military personnel.