How the Bears of Sheffield campaign is now helping to save lives on hospital ward

2021 is a year I will never forget. I work at The Children’s Hospital Charity and it was my privilege to project manage the Bears of Sheffield sculpture trail this summer, for the city and Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

By Cheryl Davidson, Events Fundraising Manager at The Children’s Hospital Charity
Friday, 24th December 2021, 9:22 am

The trail featured 160 distinctive bears brightening the city - 60 big bears decorated by professional artists as well as 100 little bears fundraised for and decorated by schools, nurseries and colleges.

Read More

Read More
Bears of Sheffield auction: Dan Walker and Strictly Come Dancing partner spend £...

From Firth Park to Forge Dam, Woodseats to Crystal Peaks, the Bears took over the length and breadth of the city. They provided everyone with the opportunity to explore, visit places they had never seen before and celebrate the best of Sheffield’s diverse heritage.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

The Big Bears of Sheffield are set to be auctioned raising money for the a new Cancer and leukaemia ward at the Sheffield Childrens Hospital... Cheryl Davidson the Project Manager for the Bears of Sheffield pictured with the bears...14th October 2021..

It saw families come from across the country, grandparents spend precious moments with their grandchildren after such a long time apart and people from across society dedicate themselves to fundraising to say thank you.

It is easy to forget now that this project’s success was far from certain. Our Charity, like so many others, struggled during the pandemic and our income dropped by 35 per cent. But if you will forgive one final pun - the trail laid bear the passion of our local community and the depth of affection it holds for Sheffield Children’s.

Our hospital has always depended on charitable support to be the best it can be and the public once again stepped forward. The Bears raised over £750,000 for the hospital, completing our three year £2.75m appeal for a new Cancer and Leukaemia ward.

The new ward is now open to patients and it’s bigger and brighter, with improved spaces for parents to stay with their children and a dedicated playroom at the heart of the ward for everyone to enjoy. The new patient bedrooms have a view of Weston Park opposite the hospital and your support and generosity made it possible.

Cheryl Davidson, Events Fundraising Manager at The Children’s Hospital Charity.

As we look back on all that has happened this year, the key lesson we have learned is to be adaptable and find ways so that regardless of restrictions, people can continue their support for Sheffield Children’s. Certainly, in our case, the brilliant cause takes care of the rest.

For next year, we’re busy making sure we have events for everyone. If you’re active, we have 10Ks and marathons, a London to Paris Cycle Ride or a Chatsworth Walk. If you’re more of a thrill seeker, we have Skydives and an international trek to Peru for you. Or if you prefer a low-energy day, our pyjama day in March might be right up your street!

In 2022, we also hope to complete the fundraising for a life-saving new Helipad at Sheffield Children’s. At the moment, air ambulances land in the park opposite the hospital and patients have to be stretchered across the busy A57.

We have raised more than half of the new Helipad’s £6m cost, which will help patients who need critical care get to our Emergency Department as soon as possible. With your support, next year I know we can finish it.