The Barnsley based Fulfilment Centre of XPO Logistics, which delivers ASOS fashion and accessories to 90 different countries around the world by plane, train and truck, is now embracing bird power!

The Little Houghton-based division of XPO, a leading global provider of transport and logistics solutions, is joining The Flock, a major community art installation at Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham, recording people’s memories of COVID-19 lockdown.

The Flock will be made up of 10,000 small wooden birds, each bearing someone’s memories from the height of the pandemic. The outdoor installation will launch on October 3 at the stately home. Employees at XPO Logistics have signed up to hand-decorate 500 birds.

“We love the idea of a giant artwork that celebrates how people came together during lockdown,” said Gavin Williams, XPO Logistics supply chain MD for UK and Ireland.

“I applaud our team at Asos Barnsley for their initiative in getting involved. It’s a fabulous way to expand the engagement work we do and make our people feel connected to the community. Many of our colleagues enjoy doing craft work with their children, so The Flock is perfect for us.”

The Flock also introduced XPO Logistics to the stunning Grade I listed stately home, which is being regenerated by a Preservation Trust. XPO may be adding the Trust to the list of organisations its colleagues volunteer with.

Already families, schools, community groups and charities are hand-decorating birds and Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust is urging other businesses across the region to follow XPO’s example and join The Flock.

“The Flock will become a moving piece of South Yorkshire’s social history. Many companies and their staff have been hard-hit by the effects of the virus. It’s so important that their memories and experiences are included in this project,” said Sarah McLeod, CEO of the Trust.
“The birds also provide a way to unite and engage workers still in furlough.”

Created of Midlands-based artists Julie Edwards and Ron Thompson of Planet Art, The Flock will be the first of three large-scale installations commissioned by Wentworth & Elsecar Great Place and Wakefield-based arts organisation Beam. Others will be staged at Wentworth Castle Gardens and Elsecar Heritage Centre.

It is free to take part in The Flock, but the Trust hopes businesses and individuals who can afford to will make a donation towards its fundraising appeal,

Birds can be painted at workshops during Wentworth Woodhouse’s Open Gardens days (Weds to Sunday), collected from distribution points across Rotherham and Barnsley in August and September.

Pictured: Angela Szasz, Data Analyst, is one of 500 employees at XPO Logistics in Barnsley who is Flying With The Flock at Wentworth Woodhouse