Light show at University of Edinburgh's Old College quad honours student's charitable legacy


26 March 2019
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Hundreds of fibre optic flowers will be illuminating the University of Edinburgh’s Old College quadrangle this week to honour a student who founded a charity during her studies.
Light show at University of Edinburgh's Old College quad honours student's charitable legacy Images

Hundreds of fibre optic flowers will be illuminating the University of Edinburgh’s Old College quadrangle this week to honour a student who founded a charity during her studies. 

Ellie Maxwell – who died from cancer ten years ago – launched charity Firefly International in 1999 while she was studying English and Philosophy. The twinkling lights mark the twentieth anniversary of the Scottish charity, which supports children and young people in areas of conflict through art and education. 

Created by artist Bruce Munro, Fireflies will open to the public on 25 March 2019 and features hundreds of bulbs on stems, which will glow across the quad at night.  

Ellie Maxwell Award launch

An award to support students who manage charities will launch as part of the celebrations to continue Ellie’s legacy. The Ellie Maxwell Award will offer £500 of funding and support for University of Edinburgh students who are developing innovative ideas and projects that will promote social change through their charities. The award will be launched at a fundraising event in the University of Edinburgh’s Playfair Library on Friday 29 March. 

Firefly International provides young people in Bosnia, Syria and Turkey artistic and educational programmes to develop their skills and confidence, and to improve their prospects. The installation and event have been organised by Firefly International with support from Edinburgh student volunteers. 

Event details

Bruce Munro’s Fireflies will be on show at the University of Edinburgh’s Old College quadrangle from 25 – 29 March 2019, 9am until 9pm. It is open to the public and free to attend.

QUICK LINK: Five remarkable women from Scottish history

Images by Neil Hanna - Fireflies. Copyright Bruce Munro Ltd 2019