Trail of bear sculptures arrives in Sheffield for fundraising event

Written by Jiaqi Hu

The sculptures of 160 bears will walk Sheffield’s streets for a fundraising event this summer.

The Bears of Sheffield sculpture trail raises money for the Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital, supporting the cancer and leukaemia ward.

The department, as one of twenty principle treatment centres in the UK, is in need of funds which help care for children with cancer and leukaemia as well as patients who have other blood problems including inherited disorders.

The event intends to attract more donations. Local businesses, organisations, and families will sponsor 60 big bears. Local schools, nurseries, and colleges will raise funds and decorate 100 little bears.

The Westways Primary School held the River Team Fun Run as the first fundraising event for the Bears of Sheffield last Friday.

Charles Hollamby, Head of Westways Primary School, explained: “This is a fantastic opportunity to make a difference to a charity not only close in proximity to the school, but close to our hearts.”

They have raised over £7,500 from the event up to now.

“The enthusiasm of our pupils on Friday for the River Team Fun Run was wonderful to behold – not only have they raised an incredible amount of money but they also had lots of fun and enjoyed getting active!” Hollamby added.

The student of Westways Primary School are taking part in the River Team Fun Run

 

In 2016, the charity ran the Herd of Sheffield campaign using elephant sculptures and was successful in gaining got a lot of support.
Caitlin Hallatt, the senior marketing and communications officer of The Children’s Hospital Charity, explained the inspiration of the bear themed event.

“Although bears might be named grizzly, bears are gentle and tolerant by nature. They can be empathetic, joyful, playful, and social in character.”

The Bears of Sheffield gave local schools across the city small bear sculptures to decorate, in exchange they are responsible for raising £750.

Students from the Carfield Community Primary School have created a unique feather bear. Every child creates a feather of his or her own. The Parent and Teacher Association for Carfield Primary School (PTFA) then puts these feathers on the bear.

Hannan Mohammed, head of Carfield Community Primary School, said “The Herd of Sheffield were brilliant the first time round and we wanted to support the Children’s hospital. We know the children will love doing the Bear trail in the summer and will be even more excited to find our Carfield one which features every child’s design.”

Carfield Ted

The big bears have been designed by professional artists both locally and internationally renowned. At the end of the summer, each bear will be auctioned off, raising much needed funds for Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Roanna Wells, an artist from Yorkshire Artspace, designed a “Nano” bear which is inspired by the research into the use of gold nano-particles in some cancer detection and treatment processes.

“I usually use watercolours on paper but had to try and recreate my signature repetitive brushmark style with something more suitable. So the bear is decorated using imitation gold leaf,” said Ms Wells.

“Nano” bear, designed by Roanna Wells

Although the event had to be postponed until this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The charity event was still sponsored by several different companies, schools, and communities.

Among them, the construction company Tier Consult, one of the sponsors, shows great passion for children’s charity activities. They set a goal in 2019 to raise £25,000 for The Children’s Hospital Charity. Until now, they have raised £12,949.

Despite the restrictions easing, The Children’s Hospital Charity still face many challenges.

“I think in terms of the trail we’ve been able to pull it around and local restrictions still make it as safe as possible to do it at a distance.” Ms Hallatt said.

In vox pop interviews, some people expressed disinterest in children’s charity activities.

Phil Clarke, whose eldest daughter was treated for a hip condition in the Children’s Hospital, has spent the last 10 years undertaking a number of runs with the aim of raising vital funds for the hospital.

“They provide such invaluable support for Children in the UK so I try to give a little back by undertaking runs. ” Mr Clarke explained.

The Children’s Hospital Charity is full of anticipation for this event.

“It’s been really hard for everyone, the trail now becomes an exciting positive so they can go out on the streets and enjoy it after a difficult year.” Ms Hallatt said.

 

Written by Jiaqi Hu

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