Shropshire Star

Robot sculpture aims to transform Ironwork Centre's Ukraine appeal

An enormous robot sculpture has been brought in to help an appeal for more aid for Ukraine after a drop in donations.

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A new robot sculpture by artist Luke Kite, right, is helped to re-ignite the Ukrainian appeal at the British Ironwork Centre. Luke is picture with centre chairman Clive Knowles.

The British Ironwork Centre, near Oswestry, has seen a dramatic tail-off in items being handed in to its previously successful appeal for medical and other supplies for the war-torn country, despite the recent escalation of bombing by Russia.

In a bid to get support back on track, the sculpture, which was designed to promote recycling, has been put up at the entrance to the visitor complex.

It was created by sculptor Luke Kite in this studio in Church Stretton before being re-assembled at the centre.

Artist Luke Kite with his robot sculpture at the British Ironwork Centre

Over recent months visitors donated enough supplies to fill two articulated lorries that travelled to the Ukraine border.

But centre chairman Clive Knowles said: "Over the last four weeks we have experienced a colossal collapse in interest. And yet the collateral damage to ordinary people in Ukraine is escalating with the bombing of the infrastructure just as the county's hard winter is approaching."

"At the same time we have had a work experience student from Adcote School with us whose mother is Ukrainian, and she was asking about our appeal and could she help as part of her placement. We felt we had to re-ignite the interest in helping."

Asmita Bonnerjee, 18 helps to promote the Ukraine appeal at the British Ironwork Centre

Mr Knowles said 18-year-old Asmita Bonnerjee had been working hard finding charities that were transporting aid to Poland and Ukraine to set up new links with the Ironwork Centre.

"We appreciate that people are worried about rising costs in the UK, but we hope they will also think of those in Ukraine who have so little," he added.

The centre is collecting mainly medical supplies, baby supplies and toiletries.