Look out - the bears have started to appear on Sheffield streets as big sculpture trail set to start on Monday
The Bears of Sheffield have started to head out into the city after being together for the last time for a sneak preview by celebrities and sponsors.
Companies and organisations have sponsored the 60 big bears, which have been beautifully decorated by artists in all sorts of gorgeous and colourful designs. They are being placed around the city for people to find on the sculpture trail.
The bears went on display yesterday for members of the press, sponsors and local celebrities to go and see before the big move started last night.
Uriah Rennie, Nick Matthew, Esme Morgan, Carl Asaba, James Toseland, Richard Hawley and Dan Walker all went to Burton Street to see them.
Members of the project team and volunteers are busy putting the big bears in place around the city with the help of construction company Henry Boot, said The Children’s Hospital Charity media and communications officer Daniel Robinson.
"We’re expecting people to spot them over the next few days. They will be ready for Monday when the trail officially starts,” said Daniel.
“It’s difficult to hide 60 two-metre tall bears! People are already tagging us in social media images.”
Daniel said that the bears are spread all over the city, not just in the city centre, in parks and other public spaces, and the aim is to get people out and about looking for them over the summer.
When the event starts officially on Monday (July 12), bear spotters will be able to go to bearsofsheffield.com and find out all the locations on the trail. The website also gives details about each bear and the story behind its design.
As well as the big bears, 100 smaller versions have been claimed by schools, colleges and nurseries, who have each raised £750 for the chance to have their own bear which they have decorated themselves. That has already raised £80,000.
“The school element is just amazing,” said Daniel. “Lots of them will have a little bear and an elephant from last time in the reception area.
“They have lovely designs from the schools and it’s amazing that they got them decorated and fundraised for it during the pandemic.”
He added: “Hopefully the trail will bring a feelgood buzz to the city.”
Daniel said that the Herd of Sheffield raised a total of £600,000 for the charity and the aim is for the bears to top that. The big bears have all been sponsored and will be auctioned off shortly after the trail ends on September 29.
Everyone can join in by taking part in a virtual fundraising challenge - the Bearathon - which will also launch on Monday. The challenge involves running, walking, cycling, or swimming 2.75km a day for 30 days. That represents the £2.75 million needed for the new Cancer and Leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
Each participant who completes the challenge will receive a medal for their efforts. Registration opens on Monday at the Bears of Sheffield website.