A giant bee made from weapons is set to make a big buzz in Gloucester this February 2024.
Made from weapons seized off the streets of Manchester, the unique monument is the creation of the British Ironwork Centre — and will be visiting the city from Friday 16 to Sunday 18 February 2024 with the aim of sparking conversations among young people about crime and violence.
The bee's arrival comes almost exactly one year since the Knife Angel was displayed at Gloucester Cathedral, with the resulting conversations contributing to a 50 per cent increase in information about criminal activity being reported through Crimestoppers at that time.
On Friday 16 February 2024, its journey begins in Kings Square alongside the Music Works Bus and an emotive exhibition called ‘Malevolence’, put together by Hundred Heroines to highlight different aspects of gender-based violence.
It will then buzz to Gloucester Cathedral Green on Saturday 17 February 2024, where it’ll be accompanied by the Music Works Bus once again, as well as free bee-themed craft activities and representatives from the Hollie Gazzard Trust.
The last chance for the public to view the bee will be at Gloucester Docks on Sunday 18 February 2024, before it moves on to educational sites across Gloucestershire to continue delivering its powerful anti-violence message.
The bee’s tour of the city aims to encourage people to speak up — particularly if they’re worried
about a friend or sibling involved in or in danger of being drawn into
Funded by the Knife Angel Legacy Fund, Crimestoppers and Gloucester BID, the bee is being supported by partners across the city of Gloucester and Gloucestershire, including SoGlos's Charity of the Year, the Hollie Gazzard Trust; The Music Works; Hundred Heroines; Gloucester CitySafe; Nettl; 1st Call Plant Ltd; Gloucestershire College; and Hartpury University and College.
The Hollie Gazzard Trust was created following the murder of Hollie Gazzard in 2014 by an abusive ex-partner and campaigns against gender-based violence and violent crime. The arrival of the bee comes at a significant time for Gloucester as it marks the 10th anniversary of the 20-year-old’s death this February 2024.
A programme of community-based activities will accompany the sculpture's time in Gloucester, including a bee trail across the city; while a dedicated website is being set up to provide key information about the anti-violence monument, as well as the events scheduled to support its aim of education and awareness.
Canon chancellor and director of learning and participation at Gloucester Cathedral, Canon Rebecca Lloyd, said: 'It’s a great privilege for us at Gloucester Cathedral to be hosting the bee.
'We were blown away by the response to Knife Angel last year and its positive impact on our local community and have been administering the Knife Angel Legacy Fund with our partners to continue the work of youth violence prevention.
'As part of the legacy, we recently hosted two youth action summits to bring together young people and partners from across the city to look at how we make Gloucester a safer and better place for young people to be.
'We are now looking forward to bringing the bee to Gloucester and to further action and improve the safety and lives of all of us here.
'Please do come and see the bee and get involved in the Knife Angel’s legacy of greater peace and safety for all on our streets and in our homes.'