Skip to main content

West Sussex hospice unveils giant heart sculpture at Horsham station

Press release   •   Jul 05, 2019 11:33 BST

The first heart to be unveiled as part of St Catherine's Hospice's art trail

Crawley-based St Catherine’s Hospice has launched its HeART to Heart trail across Horsham, Crawley, Reigate and East Grinstead, which sees 26 individually-crafted, fibreglass sculptures dotted around the areas that the hospice serves.

The first heart was unveiled at Horsham railway station on Wednesday (3 July) after its installation was arranged by the Sussex Community Rail Partnership (CRP) for the Arun Valley Line and supported by Southern. CRP Community Development Officer Rowena Tyler said: “It’s fantastic to see the heart at Horsham station. It’s been a long time in the planning. Southern have contributed funding to the HeART to Heart trail and of course offered their space.”

Terry O’Leary, Chair of the Board of Trustees at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “It’s great that Southern have allowed us to display a heart at Horsham station for the unveiling and leave it here for 10 weeks. We very much rely on businesses and people in the community to support us. It’s wonderful that Southern have been part of that support – without such support we wouldn’t exist.”

Station supervisor Miguel Alves added: “It’s a lovely piece of art - quite striking. It’s a wonderful initiative and we’re pleased to be part of it. It’s a pleasure to have the heart here.”

Each heart has been created by a local artist. The heart at Horsham station was commissioned by crime and thriller writer Peter James, alongside his friend, Sussex entrepreneur Steve Barrey, of Liquorice Dragon, and co-sponsored by Southern. The heart’s design draws inspiration from the front cover of Peter’s latest novel, which features hearts hidden amongst ironwork railings. The heart’s artwork was produced by Sculpture Studios and features air brushing and a vinyl overlay.

Peter said: “I am delighted to be sponsoring a heart on St Catherine’s Hospice HeART to Heart trail. Supporting a local charity is something I believe in strongly, and the work of a hospice is a cause incredibly close to my heart.”

Suzanne Davis, Corporate Fundraiser at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “We’re thrilled that Peter James and Steve Barrey are part of our HeART to Heart trail. It’s been fantastic to have their support. Their heart, called First Sight, is really special as it’s named after Peter’s latest best-selling novel which celebrates life and friendship. Horsham Station is a great location for First Sight, and we hope lots of people will take the time to stop and appreciate the heart on their travels.”

The hearts will be on display for 10 weeks before being auctioned in October. Money raised through the HeART to Heart trail will help fund a new hospice. Mr O’Leary said: “We need £5million to complete the funding for the new hospice, which is costing about £16million. We have most of that through gifts from donors and this will be a big contribution.”

Horsham District Council has also been engaged in the HeART to Heart initiative. The council’s Town Centres & Events Manager Garry Mortimer-Cook spearheaded a public crowdfunding initiative to raise money for three hearts in Horsham town centre. Garry said: “We are delighted that Horsham has attracted nine of the St Catherine’s hearts thanks to a range of sponsors including Southern Rail. Having the Peter James heart at Horsham Station is amazing as the station forms such a key gateway to the town. Horsham District Council hope that many people will choose to visit Horsham by train to see our hearts and explore our lovely town and park.”

To take part in the art trail, you can download the free trail map and pick up a map. For more information, visit https://www.stch.org.uk/hearttoheart/

Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:

  • Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
  • Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
  • Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
  • Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria

www.southernrailway.com, www.thameslinkrailway.com, www.gatwickexpress.com, www.greatnorthernrail.com