Butterflies helping Sheffield museum projects take flight

Oskar Leigh and mum Alison Moore with their butterfly at Weston Park Museum.
Oskar Leigh and mum Alison Moore with their butterfly at Weston Park Museum.
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A butterfly-based fundraising campaign has given wings to projects at a popular Sheffield museum.

Since launching in 2012, Weston Park’s appeal has raised more than £27,500 to support the city’s museums and galleries through the sale of personalised butterflies.

Visitors can buy the butterflies, which are based on real specimens in the museum’s natural history collection, to be placed on the museum’s walls for a year.

Alison Moore, from Hillsborough, visits the museum regularly with her husband, Mark Leigh, and son, Oskar

The family bought their first butterfly last year.

She said: “The arts are obviously facing some serious funding challenges at the moment, so we thought buying a butterfly was a great way to show our support for our local museums and galleries.

“My husband and I both have fond memories of visiting Weston Park as children, so it’s wonderful to be able to bring Oskar, our son, here.”

The butterflies, which start at £25, have been bought by visitors as far afield as France.

The money raised has been used by Museums Sheffield for conservation of the city’s collections, school visits and free family activities.

Museums Sheffield is the charitable trust which looks after the city’s Millennium Gallery, Weston Park Museum and Graves Gallery.

Ceris Morris, Museums Sheffield fundraising manager, said: “The response to the Buy a Butterfly appeal has been absolutely fantastic.

“It’s been heart-warming to hear more from visitors about the special connections they have to the city’s museums and galleries.

“We’re incredibly grateful for the generosity of everyone who has taken part.”

Funds raised through the appeal have helped support a number of events at museums and galleries across the city, including Weston Park Museum’s free discovery days.

Sessions take place every Tuesday and Thursday during school holidays, offering craft activities for families.

The deadline for signing up to be included in the final display of butterflies for the coming year is Sunday, September 7.

n For more information visit www.museums-sheffield.org.uk/butterflyappeal