World AIDS Day was extra-special in Birmingham yesterday, as hundreds of people arrived in front of the city’s iconic Hippodrome Theatre to witness the unveiling of the UK’s largest memorial to those lost to HIV – and also its brightest beacon for those living with the virus today, and all we can achieve together in the future.
The news was featured on the BBC and ITV alike, with a live link to BBC Midlands Today at the moment the memorial was unveiled. It was an emotional moment for many, not least lead designer Garry Jones, for whom this was a culmination of two years’ work.
Saving Lives has been so proud to act as the supporting charity for the programme, helping raise, hold and disburse funds on behalf of the grassroots steering committee. To watch them do all the work that is necessary to ensure an eight-metre-tall public monument is erected in the very centre of a major UK city has been a privilege and a pleasure. We’ve also said that our home city of Birmingham leads the way – and the Ribbons, as the memorial has already come to be known, is proof of that!
The Ribbons will now stand for many years to come as a reminder of what can be achieved when communities come together. On its base is a plaque that reads:”Remember. Celebrate. Educate.” The Ribbons will offer a focal point for all the awareness-raising and educational work that still needs to be done – in Birmingham, the UK, and internationally.
Congratulations to all! Here’s to next year’s World AIDS Day.