A once dreary tunnel which was regularly graffitied has been transformed into a colourful path into Hillfield Park – home of the Armed Forces Community Garden - which celebrates and supports the UK’s Armed Forces.
Funded by Solihull Council’s environmental partner Veolia, the idea for the tunnel was supported by a range of organisations who got round the table at Solihull’s first Graffiti Summit earlier in the year. Following the summit, local veterans, members of the Royal British Legion and school children from Monkspath Primary School worked with local artists A&K to create artwork for the tunnel which they renamed Poppy Path.
Elaine Butler, President of Warwickshire and Birmingham County Royal British Legion, said: “I am honoured and deeply touched that Veolia and Solihull Council have once again demonstrated their support for our Armed Forces, this time by dedicating the New Poppy Path in Hillfield Park to our serving and Veteran personnel and the work of the RBL. A visible statement of thanks by the Council and the community. Moving to see the children, Veterans, and local residents working together on this heart-warming project.”
Shaun Donohue, General Manager for Veolia, said: “We see this fantastic project as being the first of many we hope to be involved in in the future, whilst working in partnership with Solihull Council, that will demonstrate our commitment to our promised investment in local communities and our enhancement of social value across the borough.“
Deputy Leader and Armed Forces Champion for Solihull Council, Cllr Karen Grinsell, said: “I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in this amazing project – the Royal British Legion, local veterans, Monkspath school children, our artists from A&K, plus staff from Veolia and Solihull Council.
“Working together, we have turned an unpleasant tunnel into a welcoming and vibrant space which reminds people where the Armed Forces Community Garden is and delivers a powerful message in support of our Armed Forces.
“Everyone involved has worked incredibly hard to get this finished in time for Armed Forces Day – the annual event which gives us all a chance to show our support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community - and this is a wonderful way for us to show our support.
“Lastly, I know my colleague Cllr Ken Hawkins has plans for more projects like this as part of his work to tackle graffiti and make our borough the best it can possibly be for residents, so watch out for transformations across the borough!”
Poppy Path leads into Hillfield Park from Highlands Road in Shirley, by Farmfoods.