A charity which is raising at least £3.2 million to build the UK’s first Emergency Services Cenotaph honouring the NHS and emergency services, has announced a cross party Parliamentary Committee which will work to help make the 999 Cenotaph a reality.
The Committee consists of Sir Mike Penning MP (pictured), Yvette Cooper MP, Allan Dorans MP, Munira Wilson MP, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP, Lord Mark Lancaster, Lord Vernon Coaker and Baroness Cathy Bakewell.
Former firefighter, solider and Police Minister, Sir Mike Penning MP and the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee and former Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper MP will co-chair the committee.
The Committee is tasked with trying to find a suitable location in Westminster to locate the UK’s first national monument to the NHS and emergency services, and to assist with securing major donations.
Almost 2 million people work and volunteer across the NHS and emergency services today, including 250,000 first responders.
The monument is supported by HRH The Duke of Cambridge; the Prime Minister; the First Ministers of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales; the National Police and Fire Chiefs’ Councils; the Association of Ambulance CEOs; and all Search and Rescue organisations.
This monument is being sculpted by Philip Jackson, whose previous work includes Bomber Command in Green Park, Gandhi in Parliament Square and The Queen in Windsor Great Park.
The 999 Cenotaph, which will be 21ft tall, includes six 8ft figures stood back-to-back wearing the uniform they would wear when responding to a 999 call. The figures will be stood on White Portland stone. The figures are of a male police officer, firefighter, maritime volunteer and a female paramedic, nurse and search and rescue volunteer. A dog is also to be included, to represent service animals.
The first figure, that of an NHS nurse, was unveiled in May 2021.
If funding is secured soon, then the monument could be unveiled in December 2022, the year of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.
Speaking of his appointment as co-chair of the 999 Cenotaph Parliamentary Committee, The Rt Hon Sir Mike Penning MP, said: ‘As a former firefighter and Police Minister I am honoured to have been appointed co-chair of the 999 Cenotaph Parliamentary Committee. The 999 Cenotaph is a remarkable campaign for a single memorial in our capital city to honour all those who have lost their lives whilst serving their communities in the emergency services. I am committed to finding a suitable site in the centre of Westminster and, quite frankly, it is long overdue.’
Speaking of her appointment as co-chair of the 999 Cenotaph Parliamentary Committee, The Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP, said: ‘Across the country people owe their lives and their safety to our brave emergency service workers. They are there for every one of us when we need them most and we owe them our thanks – never more so than after this difficult year. That’s why I’m so glad to be co-chairing the 999 Cenotaph’s Parliamentary Committee. It is time we had this fitting memorial to honour all those who have sadly lost their lives while supporting communities across the country.’
Speaking of his appointment as a member of the 999 Cenotaph Parliamentary Committee, Allan Dorans MP, said: ‘Having served as an operational Police Officer for 16 years, I have witnessed first-hand, the sacrifices made by all of our emergency services whilst protecting and keeping us all safe. I am proud to be a member of the 999 Cenotaph Committee and associated with this project.’
Speaking of her appointment as a member of the 999 Cenotaph Parliamentary Committee, Munira Wilson MP, said: ‘I am really pleased to be supporting the 999 Cenotaph campaign. All of those in the emergency services and the NHS have worked tirelessly to serve their communities, particularly during this crisis. It is so important that we honour them, and I look forward to working with other MPs in the Parliamentary Committee to help make the 999 Cenotaph a reality.’
Speaking of his appointment as a member of the 999 Cenotaph Parliamentary Committee, Rt Hon Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP, said: ‘As an MP representing a Northern Ireland constituency, I am delighted to be involved in supporting the campaign for a 999 Cenotaph to honour our NHS and Emergency Services. They are often the unsung heroes who are there for us when we most need them, and it Is fitting that they receive national recognition for their service and sacrifice for our nation.’
Speaking of his appointment as a member of the 999 Cenotaph Parliamentary Committee, Lord Vernon Coaker, said: ‘As a son of a Police Officer I have grown up knowing the true value and heroics of those that serve in our emergency services. It is an absolute honour to be supporting the 999 Cenotaph campaign. Each day they are putting others before themselves and are there for us when we need it the most. They do a phenomenal job and all too often they are our unsung heroes. Now we have a chance to honour each and every one of them that has lost their lives. A 999 cenotaph will give them the national recognition they so richly deserve, and I look forward to working with the committee to make sure this happens.’
Speaking of her appointment as a member of the 999 Cenotaph Parliamentary Committee, Baroness Cathy Bakewell MBE, said: ‘I am delighted to be a member of the Committee promoting the 999 Cenotaph for those men and women who have so tirelessly worked to save lives in our communities up and down the country and around our coastlines. We take our emergency services for granted and it is time they received the recognition they deserve for their tireless sacrifice.’
Tom Scholes-Fogg, Founder and Chief Executive of the 999 Cenotaph, said: ‘I am delighted that this cross-party Parliamentary Committee has been established to help secure funding and find a suitable site for the UK’s first ‘999 Cenotaph’ – a lasting symbol of gratitude to the millions of people who have served in our NHS and emergency services. The 999 Cenotaph will be a monument to our heroes – a monument that the British people can look at and be proud of. We need to raise at least £3.2m to make this a reality. I urge the public to donate whatever they can. Our NHS and 999 services have been there for you, it is now time for you to be there for them.’