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Cambridge sculptor Harry Gray’s idea for a Covid Star People’s Medal for NHS and care workers wins support




Cambridge sculptor Harry Gray has received political backing for plans to reward NHS workers with a medal for their work during the pandemic.

Having designed a Covid Star People’s Medal, as reported by the Cambridge Independent in the spring, momentum is starting to build behind the initiative.

Harry Gray’s Covid Star People’s Medal
Harry Gray’s Covid Star People’s Medal

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner and Andy Street, the mayor of the West Midlands, have both come out in support of the idea, and a Change.org petition is gaining numbers.

But the project has picked up pace with the news that a prototype of the medal has been manufactured by Thomas Fattroini Ltd, based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

Harry is now hoping it will be backed by Matt Hancock, the Secretary for State for Health and Social Care.

Cambridge artist Harry Gray with one of his previous works at Cambridge University Library
Cambridge artist Harry Gray with one of his previous works at Cambridge University Library

“I’m arranging to meet Daniel Zeichner in January at my studio, if we’re allowed to, and to show him the finished prototypes – and then to get them down to Matt Hancock’s local office,” said Harry.

“I would hope that the government would support this, and perhaps industry – particularly industries that have made money out of the crisis.

“Amazon have their research and development centre on Station Square, and wouldn’t that be great if Amazon said ‘yes, we’re interested in supporting this’, or partnering with a government department?”

Harry Gray’s Covid Star People’s Medal
Harry Gray’s Covid Star People’s Medal

“I can’t say that Matt Hancock’s seen it or approving or anything like that yet. I hope to get his opinion in the new year.”

With Mr Zeichner “excited” about the idea and Mr Street also behind the project, Harry hopes that further signatories to the Change.org petition will add more weight to the cause.

The target is 1,500 people – it is currently on around 1,300 – and then will switch to an expanded team.

Cambridge artist Harry Gray
Cambridge artist Harry Gray

“Zehra Zaidi, a founder of We Too Built Britain, and project coordinator Kiera Donovan, I’ll hand over to them with that next milestone,” said Harry. “I think the milestone for me is the opinion of Matt Hancock and the Department of Health and Social Care.”

Sign the petition at tinyurl.com/y7hyck3s.

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