There’s been so much interest in the sculpture trail that the Bears of Sheffield website (bearsofsheffield.com) has been crashing on the first day when you could discover where all 100 big bears have been placed around the city. You can log on to the website and register to keep a track of all the bears you have found so far.
The 60 large bears and 100 small ones have been appearing all over the city as part of a major fundraising effort by The Children’s Hospital Charity, which is raising £2.75 million for a new Cancer and Leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
The big bears, which have been sponsored to be decorated by artists, have been placed in parks and other public spaces, and the little ones, which have been painted by schools, colleges and nurseries, are in mainly public indoor settings such as shops, libraries, sports centres and museums.
The groups who took on the little bears all had to raise £750 in order to take part and they will keep their afterwards. The big ones will be auctioned off after the trail ends on September 29.
The Children’s Hospital Charity reckons this event could raise even more than the Herd of Sheffield sculpture trail that took place in 2016.
Both sculpture trails have strong links to the city’s history.
The bear design is based on the David Mayne sculpture that is on display in the old bear pit at Sheffield Botanical Gardens, where the elephant design was inspired by Lizzie, the famous elephant that was used by scrap Thomas Ward to haul carts around the city during World War One.
Also launched today was the Bearathon, which is a virtual fundraising challenge. The challenge involves people pledging to run, walk, cycle or swim 2.75km a day for 30 days, with the 2.75 figure representing how much the charity needs to raise for the new ward.
Details are also on the Bears of Sheffield website.