With the school holidays now in full swing, more people are expected to take a trip into Sheffield to follow the trail and see what they can find.
There are now 160 of the distinctive bears to be found across the city – 60 big bears standing two metres tall, as well as 100 little bears, which are all 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 have been sponsored by local businesses, organisations and families, while the little bears have been funded and decorated by schools, nurseries and colleges.
There is also an extra special Theo Bear sculpture, The Children’s Hospital’s Charity’s mascot.
But to navigate your way around all the bears and tick them all off, you’ll need one of the specially designed maps.
Here is everything you need to know.
A map of the trail, which runs until September 29, can be purchased here, from the Children’s Hospital Charity website.
The charity is asking for a suggested donation of £1 for the map, which lists the location of every bear in the city and can be kept as a momento due to its incredible illustration.
Unit 1 in Sheffield city centre, near the Winter Gardens, has also been turned into ‘Bear Central’, where merchandise and maps can be found.
You can also buy some of the merchandise from some of the retailers supporting the bear trail, including Atkinsons of Sheffield and Crystal Peaks.
How to get involved
Visit www.bearsofsheffield.co.uk and start collecting the bears on the app to earn ‘Paw Points’ and redeem special offers along the way. There is also a league table to see which bear receives the most donations.
So far £1,816.50 has been raised.
Local businesses supporting the trail
A number of businesses from all across Sheffield have been supporting the initiative to raise the vital funds and spread some joy around the city.
Two of the retailers hosting bears in their centres are Atkinsons and Crystal Peaks.
Ben Kerry, Store Manager at Atkinsons Sheffield, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Bears of Sheffield sculpture trail this summer.
“Here at Atkinsons, we are hosting 12 little bears in our store and are doing all we can to support Sheffield Children’s Hospital as our chosen cause of the year. From selling merchandise to having collection boxes on our tills and raffles running in our restaurants, we’re pulling out all the stops, and as a Sheffield company which knows how valuable the hospital is to our local community, we’re incredibly proud to do so.”
Richard Pilgrim, Project Manager at Sheffield BID, said more than 350 maps were given out from ‘Bear Central' over the first weekend, and lots of people have been buying merchandise.
Lee Greenwood, Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre Manager said: “We are very excited to be part of the Bears of Sheffield and our customers are already having great fun looking for the bears, little and large, throughout the centre.
“As well as selling the trail maps and the full range of merchandise from our Customer Services desk and in the Home and Fragrance store, we are looking forward to running a series of free Bear-themed kids events every Friday across the summer holidays. We will be accepting donations and are looking forward to raising as much money as possible for this great cause which is so close to our customer’s hearts.”
Lisa Jones, Manager at Home and Fragrance, Crystal Peaks, added: “We are thrilled to have been asked to get involved with the bear trail, there’s such a buzz around it and to help raise money for Sheffield Children’s Hospital makes us all really happy. The merchandise is selling really well.
“We all need a pick me up at the moment, so we are all going to put on our walking shoes and do the bear trail, we did the elephant trail in 2016 and had a great day so we are all looking forward to this one.”