Software company APD Communications has created a striking work of art reflecting the incredible work of its customers in the emergency services.
The pioneering Hull-based business chose the city’s Centre for Digital Innovation (C4DI) tech hub as the launch venue for its colourful illustration of the company’s work supporting emergency services organisations.
The 6ft by 4ft creation, called the Tapestry of the Emergency Services, is a bespoke canvas that houses 64 pegs, each associated with a meaningful word to describe our emergency services. The piece comes to life by wrapping four colours of thread, red, blue, yellow and green, representing each of the emergency services – police, fire, ambulance and coastguard – around these pegs to create a tapestry.
The tapestry board was unveiled and the first threads placed at C4DI and it now has pride of place in APD’s reception at Newland Science Park, adjacent to the University of Hull.
Visitors to APD are invited to continue to contribute to a living piece of art that tells the story of the emergency services and how they will evolve over time. Over 2,000 metres of cotton have already been used on the artwork, with this number set to grow over time.
APD is a corporate member of C4DI, which means it has access to its facilities and expertise and works closely with the tech talent within the building. The company also uses the partnership to build strong connections and collaborative relationships across Hull’s thriving tech community.
Rhiannon Beeson, APD Marketing and Sales Manager, said: “We work with emergency services organisations and critical control operations around the world, but we’re very proud of our roots and to call Hull our home.
“We invited members of the C4DI community to start the tapestry to connect our role in Hull’s digital community with our vital work supporting the emergency services across the UK and beyond.
“The tapestry board is an attractive and engaging way of showing how people feel about the emergency services. In a world of digital content, it’s nice to create something that’s tactile and based on a traditional craft. That may seem a little odd, considering we’re a technology company, but we think that’s part of its charm.
“It also has a serious purpose in highlighting the amazing work that the emergency services do to protect and serve the public.”
The event to promote APD’s membership saw members of the C4DI community answering questions on their views of the emergency services as they helped to build the tapestry.
Jo Ward, Development Delivery Manager at APD, said: “The tapestry is a fun and interactive way to promote our focus on the emergency services and creates a talking point for visitors to our offices.
“It’s clear that the people who helped create the tapestry at C4DI feel very passionately about the emergency services. Words such as amazing, awesome and inspiring were used a lot. Those words reflect how we feel about the blue light services – it’s humbling for us to play our part in supporting their life-saving and life-changing work.
“We also think the tapestry works really well as Hull remains the UK City of Culture until 2021 and the tech community makes a huge contribution to culture and creativity in the city.”
C4DI Managing Director John Connolly said: “It’s fantastic that APD has brought its membership to life in such a creative and inspiring way.
“APD’s membership of C4DI is a great example of how large and well-established tech companies in the city and region are engaging with the wider community of smaller digital businesses, start-ups and freelancers.
“Member companies benefit from exposure to the skills and creativity buzzing around C4DI while our community gains from the experience and expertise of companies such APD who are leaders in their fields.”
Founded by two academics from the University of Hull, APD has developed cutting-edge digital technology in the city for more than 30 years.
The company employs more than 100 staff, mainly software developers – the company’s super-talented “geeks with goals” – who create critical, life-saving software used by the police and other emergency services organisations across the UK, as well as transport and aviation operators nationally and internationally.
APD’s technology is used by 69% of UK police forces; helps to run the London Underground; and is a key part of the critical communications infrastructure at Dubai International, the world’s busiest airport.
The company is also at the forefront of the development of the Emergency Services Network (ESN), a new, state-of-the-art communications network for the UK’s emergency services.