The streets of Sheffield are set to be transformed this summer with bear sculptures to raise funds to transform the cancer and leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 3:39 pm
Updated Monday, 10th February 2020, 3:56 pm

And the team at the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit are among those sponsoring a bear in this year’s Bears of Sheffield art trail.

The city-wide fundraising campaign is coordinated by The Children’s Hospital Charity and is a new take on the Herd of Sheffield art event, which saw elephant sculptures throughout the city in 2016 – raising £610,000.

The unit has chosen to sponsor a bear as part of its community engagement work, to raise awareness of the unit and highlight the causes of violence and how to prevent it.

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Superintendent Lee Berry and Rachel Staniforth, Joint Heads of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, along with Dr Alan Billings,

Rachel Staniforth, joint head of the unit, said: “Sponsoring a bear is something we felt strongly about. At the VRU, we are passionate about working with communities to understand their perceptions of violence.

“Over recent years, Sheffield has seen some high-profile violent incidents and by getting involved in this campaign, which raises awareness of everything that is good about Sheffield, we can start to focus on good news, positives and raise money for young people across South Yorkshire who need the support of Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

“We are looking forward to taking part in the trail and seeing which other organisations will be joining us. We might even set up some competitions for young people to get involved with.”

Elmore Kindergarten, a group of four Sheffield nurseries, in Sheffield at Broomhill, Ecclesfield, Frecheville and Middlewood, is also taking part in the appeal.

As part of the fundraising mission, the nurseries will be hosting a series of events throughout the year including a Valentine Gift Sale, and a teddy bears’ picnic on February 29 at Hillsborough Baptist Church, as well as plans for a race night.

Joanne Boyd, of Elmore Kindergarten, said: “Each nursery has to raise £750 to get their bear sculpture, then they will decorate them and they will go on display along with all the other bears.”

Tchad Western, from the charity, said: “The Bears of Sheffield is all about uniting communities, bringing the city together and making our mark.”